2nd Story Theatre's opening show of their season is Alan Ayckbourne's "Communicating Doors", which is an intricate time-traveling comic thriller. A sex specialist from the future stumbles into a murder confession scenario with an addled old man and his business partner. When she tries to escape from the hotel room via a closet door, she is transported back in time from 2031. The show is where regrets are reversed, past hurts are undone, mistakes are modified and murder gets a make over. Set in the same London hotel room in the years 1991, 2011 and 2031, "Communicating Doors" sends two heroines racing back and forth in time trying to rewrite history and change their destinies. The frantic race begins when Poopay, is hired for an evening at the Regal Hotel by the old man and as she exits through the door, it somehow triggers the time machine. Ed Shea directs his six talented performers in a series of twists and turns of the plot that is beautifully crafted and will keep you guessing as to what happens.
Ed brings out the best in his performers, creating comedy and suspense in this cleverly written comedy. He adds many comic bits and suspenseful music to this farce. He is aided in his task by production manager Max Ponticelli, set designer Trevor Elliot who creates a stunning unit set of a plush hotel room and bathroom and costumer designer Ron Cesario who comes up with some comical outfits especially Poopay's. When the heroines race back from each time period, a backdrop of the city is changed so the audience knows what year they are in and also remarkable is the turntable closet with wonderful lighting affects by Jen Rock.
Lara Hakeem plays the heroine of the show Poopay (she explains is French for doll). She wears a blonde wig in the first scene. The character sets off the time machine accidentally which leads to many funny situations in each of the three time periods. Lara commands the stage in this role of tender hearted tart with a very poignant twist at the end of the show. It is fantastic to see her back on stage after a hiatus. Terrence Shea plays the dastardly business partner Julian. He plays this sinister character and oozes smarmy charm in the role. Terrence adds many layers to his character to hold the audience's interest all night long.Wayne Kneeland is topnotch as Reece who summons Poopay to his room. He plays a 70 year old in 2031 and a 30 year old in 1991. Wayne makes them into two distinct personalities, giving a nuanced performance in this role. Joe Ouellette is Harold, the comic hotel detective who questions Poopay in 2011 and Ruella in 1991. Joe adds to the merriment of the show. Sharon Charpentier is terrific as the second wife. She shows off her clever side when she realizes she is about to be killed that very night and tries to stop it. Sharon shows a lot of spunk and feistiness in this part, winning many laughs along the way. Laura Sorensen plays Jessica, the sexy Southern first wife. She may be playing a dimwitted gal but she uses her brains when necessary. The three women have to put their heads together to help each other out. Saying anymore would ruin the storyline of this show, just go and see this farcical show and enjoy it without straining your brain. So for a fun filled evening about time travel that will keep you on the edge of your seat, be sure to catch the entertaining "Communicating Doors'' at 2nd Story Theatre.