Norm Foster’s Hit Comedy ”The Long Weekend“ in a Full Production at the Playhouse
There comes a moment in the second act of Norm Foster’s classic stage comedy The Long Weekend when Wynn Trueman, a psychologist who shares a country home with her high-powered lawyer husband, Max, discloses that she has just published a new book. The title is Internalize and Die, and its theme, she says, is “how harmful it is to suppress your feelings, to hold things in.”
How much more peaceful the long weekend of the play’s title might have been had the four characters in the story ignored that advice. In the living room of the summer house, two married couples, Wynn and Max, and Wynn’s best friend, clothing store proprietor Abby, and her math-teacher-turned-screenwriter husband, Roger, hold back precious little. Over the course of about an hour and fifty minutes, during which audiences are typically laughing almost continuously, the foursome tells one too many uncomfortable truths about one another. Soon all the gloves come off – along with other items of clothing, as the married couples go after each other’s spouses in a game of mixed doubles that has nothing to do with Max’s private tennis court.
Norm Foster, called the Neil Simon of Canada, is the most produced playwright in his country’s history. His plays export well; the Los Angeles Times, reviewing a California production of The Long Weekend, concluded: “Norm Foster scores a bullseye with this tickling romp about mismatched spouses.”
Players Workshop, one of San Miguel’s oldest theater companies, is staging Foster’s play, in full production, eight times at the San Miguel Playhouse. The performances are January 26, 27, and 28, and February 2, 3, and 4, at 7pm; and January 29 and February 5, at 1pm. Tickets are 500 pesos for the center section and 400 for side sections, and can be purchased in advance online by clicking either of the “Buy Tickets” buttons in this newsletter, or from boletocity.com, or at the door of the theater starting one hour before each show.
Note: Advance sale is online only. The Boleto City office in Mercado Sano remains closed. Options are being developed for advance purchase over the phone or with cash.
The director, Brian Munroe, is a Canadian theater professional who just recently moved to San Miguel with his wife and daughter. He says he is excited to be working in San Miguel for the first time, and commends “the contributions of my wonderful cast.” The Long Weekend features Gerri Baruch, Christopher Berns, Clara Dunham, and Eli Hans.
The theater repertory is replete with plays in which friends or family members are stuck together in a house, and the enforced proximity turns into a cage match. In dramas such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, the bloodletting can get ugly. But the device also lends itself to comedy. Noel Coward perfected the form in his 1924 play Hay Fever, and gave the subgenre a name: the comedy of bad manners. Norm Foster’s “tickling romp” has become an audience favorite in that subgenre.