Thursday, April 19, 2012

In Sane Company

On Saturday April 14, 2012 at the Korda Zone Theatre on Seminole Street, here in Windsor, Ontario, we saw a play titled “Visiting Hours.” The play starred Rob Tymec, Melanie Postma, Kyle Pitre and Carla Gyemi.

This theatrical play was about Dr. Matthew Vaughn and his self-admittance into a psychiatric hospital. Dr. Vaughn was a renowned psychiatrist, which presented an interesting dynamic with Dr. Jeff Peterson, the doctor who was responsible for his care. Throw in a obsessive compulsive personal assistant named Petra Squire and an estranged, recovering substance-abusing sister, Amy Vaughn, and you are left wondering who is the craziest of the bunch!

The highlight of the show was absolutely the lead, Rob Tymec and his portrayal of Dr. Vaughn. It was dynamic and very engaging. In a lot of ways, one could say that Rob was actually portraying an exaggerated version of himself. One particular notable scene was Rob’s narrative at the end that he took into the audience, as well as his ad libs about patrons in the audience, which increased the interest and importance of what would normally be felt as long and drawn out.

Carla’s portrayal of Petra Squire was stiff and mechanical, which worked very well for the character. Petra displayed an eerie devotion to her job, and seemed to be enamoured by the mind of Dr. Vaughn. Her overly-professional demeanour, combined with a “sexy librarian look” screamed out “Fatal Attraction.”

Kyle’s role of Dr. Peterson had subdued comical reactions to the Dr. Vaughn character that were quite memorable. The bathroom scene was perfectly executed by Dr. Peterson not quite succeeding at being humble. Considering the reveal at the end though, Dr. Peterson could have shown more agitation towards Dr. Vaughn’s continued intellectual jabs.

Melanie’s part, playing Amy Vaughn, left divided reactions. There seemed to be a lack of an emotional connection on stage between Amy Vaughn and Dr. Matthew Vaughn. However, Melanie did appear comfortable and relaxed in her role. The shock humour segments in regards to the incestuous jokes was probably the best display of an actual connection between both characters on set. Both Rob and Melanie excelled at the dialogue of sexual innuendos.

The play did take a serious turn and gave a voice to a variety of mental health conditions, abuse, addiction and places for recovery. It also included a rather interesting connection to Spiderman. (don’t worry we won’t give it away!)

Overall, the play was filled with laughter and drama, both in expected and unexpected ways. There were laugh out loud moments, as well as some unsettling revelations that could leave you misty-eyed.

It would be best to go early so you can get a comfy couch to enjoy this performance because when you’re watching a show about insanity, it’s nice to have the extra padding!

*Review by Melissa F. Arditti and Bill Nuvo

Have you seen the play? If so, drop me a note and let me know your thoughts!