While the dining room might becoming a little outdated by some present day standards, the room was centre stage in Georgetown Little Theatre's production, The Dining Room, which opened Thursday night at John Elliott Theatre. This production is somewhat unique for GLT, featuring a cast of six actors who take on 49 characters, in 18 separate, unrelated vignettes, the only common thread in all of them being the fact they all take place in the dining room. The vignettes date from the 1930s to present and depict and comment on a number of social, political and moral issues. The cast consists of Jill
Mulholland, John Day, Kevin Liley, Linda Leask, Rishi Bandhu and Ro Palumbo-Coates. Although all cast members were strong and well balanced, they did have moments when they shone. Mulholland delivers a strong yet humorous performance as a strict mother arguing with her wannabe renegade daughter (Linda Leask) about accompanying her somewhat rebellious aunt to a show, while Leask also plays her part to the limit, pouting and stamping her feet like a temper tantrum teen in protest. Day was outstanding as an aging father determined to arrange his funeral with his reluctant son (Liley) as they both worked off each other during that
scene. The scene was quite humorous. Day was also a strong presence as a Depression-era father who demanded his children (Bandhu and PalumboCoates) be seen and not heard, completely intolerant of any of the waning social values outside the walls of his comfortable upper class home. In the same scene, Bandhu was also entertaining as the son, terrified of crossing his father. Palumbo-Coates was magnificent as a wannabe rebellious teen who came home with her friend (Mulholland) after school and raided the family's liquor cabinet, as well as inviting some boys over for an impromptu party while the parents were away. Palumbo-Coates was also hilari-
ous as Bertha the maid in another vignette about a brother going to the club to `fight' another member who insulted his brother. Liley was strong as a psychiatrist, who was having a contractor (Bandhu) measure up his dining room to see how it might be better used space. In the end, the psychiatrist is counseling the contractor. All cast members deliver strong performances in this technically demanding productions, with some of them exiting stage as a mere child to return immediately as a senior citizen in the next vignette. In addition, the vignettes tend to run into each other, blending seamlessly from one to the next, all the while the actors are on cue
as their lines mesh impeccably. The set is a work of art, well appointed and dressed with attention to detail. Lighting is well balanced and depicts the difference time of day in the two scenes. The Dining Room is unlike most GLT productions. Some may like it, others will find it a bit confusing to follow unless they read the program to grasp the full potential of the play. It's a good play, and does entertain, but also demands some effort on the part of the audience to appreciate the humour, drama and sometimes satire that is being acted out on stage. The play continues its run this week.