Published on March 12th, 2014 | by Zamná Ávila
By John Farrell
The Melville Boys is Canadian playwright Norm Foster’s second work.
Since then he has written a few more plays, more than 50 others in all, and has had more than 150 plays produced every year for 20 years (including plays at the Torrance Theater recently and at the Long Beach Playhouse). He hit his stride early: The Melville Boys is delicious, a four-member situation-comedy with more than a little bite, more than a little food for thought in its two-hour length.
The story centers around Owen Melville (Michael Hanson) and Lee Melville (Bill Wolski) who have come up to their uncle’s cabin at the lake for a weekend of fishing before they have to return to the real world where Lee has to have a serious medical procedure and Owen is soon getting married.
But when Owen sees two women in a boat on the lake, their plans change. Mary (Holly Baker-Kreiswirth) and Loretta (Kyla Schoer) decide to go with their two new friends to the local dance and things proceed to get more than a little serious. Owen hooks up with Loretta, who takes him to bed when she finds out he is going to be wed: she just wants to have fun. Mary and Lee spend the night together, too, playing cards and talking about their lives.
The play is funny, often hilarious, but it is also serious and balances both in a delightful and provocative way, the way that has made Foster a successful playwright and actor. (He came to both careers late in life.)
Directed by Paul Vander Roest on the small but efficient Little Fish Theatre stage, it is diverting and thought-provoking.
Tickets are $27 and $24 for seniors. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through April 5 with one matinee Sunday, March 23 at 2 p.m.