Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang

October/November 2019

Comments from audiences

My family took me last night for my Birthday. We all had an amazing time. Lots of laughs... - D. Griffin

I have been to some of their performances and have never been disappointed. - B. Dodd

Like all the others, this show was another one to write home about. Thanks to the cast, well done.

N.D. D'Aguilar-Soper

I had the pleasure last night, along with a gaggle of G.F.'s, to see this fabulous production on their Opening Night. WOW - hats off to the entire cast and crew! From the kleenex box to the v-doll everyone knocked it outta the park! - J.L. Bradley

 

 

Motherhood Out Loud by various authors

Two-night special at the Sanctuary for the Arts, Ridgeway

August 2019

Comments from audiences and cast

Amazing performance! Awesome production! Wonderful venue! Fantastic music! Kudos to the brains behind all of this! LOVED it!!! - Y. Michaud

Show was great! Cast and crew did a wonderful job. Enjoyed it immensely!! - Bill D.

We giggled, laughed and roared, we wept and wiped our eyes. The stories so unforgettably performed by an amazing cast- from teenagers to oldsters - were stories of OUR lives. Thank you! - L. M. Pino

Motherhood Out Loud addressed some "difficult" issues in a straightforward, honest, humorous and thought provoking manner. - D. Grimes

This is by far the best theatrical show we have been involved in. Supportive cast, talented individuals, friendly and open family-like environment, emphasis upon creative latitude and amazing leadership. Combining the elements of free expression with art of music and theatre is always going to be raw and create a beautiful, unique evening. This production allowed the performers and the audiences to share in something honest. Thank you for letting us be a part of your beautiful team! - Jill Shimizu-Lunn and Ryan Lunn

I'll always remember Motherhood Out Loud as all about sharing the love. Along the whole journey this summer, we created special memories to hang on to. I was lucky enough to be part of a very special show to share with the community. - Carol Lewis

The show was second to none - just fantastic! - K. A. Oliver

 

Airport Tales by Carol Libman

April 2019

An excerpt from Fort Erie Observer by Paul Sawchuk

Here is a woman who has embraced going against the grain. Turning 90, Evalina Appelgy sets the tone for the Garrison Little Theatre production of Carol Libman's "Airport Tales." ... The play is structured as a series of vignettes surrounding Evalina's trip back home, the sole point of each encounter she has is to break down another wall she's put up. A play like this is dependent on the wonderful character work of its actors, and GLT delivers. Linda Gorham is spunky and vibrant as the wisened Evalina, who can dole out wisdom to the youth around her, but isn't so smug as to deride the advice they may offer back about the importance of forgiveness and openness to listening. Eric Jeddry as Roger, ably expresses a comic nervousness and need to impress on the first day on the job. Alex Pedersen as Carly captures that first year of college attitude - the need for sleep, the feigned disinterest in conversation that - surprise, surprise - can actually open up pretty quickly. Trent Matthews, as the U-Vic professor, effectively toes the line between accomplished professional and his untoward motives... After her ninetieth birthday party, cousin Fred (Ric Gorham) approaches Evalina about not keeping in touch with the family. Evalina worries that they're going to ask her for money, but is surprised by the ulterior motive Fred presents her while waiting for her flight back. Another wall breaks down. "Airport Tales" lands heart and nuance needed to broach the subject of keeping in touch with family in modern days.

Wonderful, wonderful show. A quieter story and plot, but full of insight, truth and good humour. Well done, All!

    A. H. Roebuck

Great show, everything about it was soooo pleasant, like reading a good book!

    L. M. Pino

 

The Game's Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays by Ken Ludwig

February 2019

An excerpt from Niagara This Week by Richard Hutton

Who knew murder could be so funny? A comedy whodunnit bordering at times on farce, Garrison Little Theatre's production is a delightful romp that moves along quickly and is chock-full of performances from a cast that manages to pull back just enough from the edge of sending its interpretations of Ludwig's characters over the top.

Performance of the night goes to Carole Ferriday, whose portrayal of the muckraking newspaper columnist/theatre critic, Daria Chase, is deliciously evil and mean. Her death at the end of Act One is a demonstration of perfect comic timing... Things get worse - read: funnier - as Act Two begins with Gillette (Chuck Jagiello) and Felix (Dave Deelen) attempt to hide Chase's body before police arrive... The comedy comes off as something out of an episode of John Cleese's Britcom Fawlty Towers... The cast is a mix of veterans and relative newcomers to the community theatre group. Jagiello's role as William Gillette marked his 30th appearance on stage while for Deelen, it was only his second (for GLT). It was the 12th time under the lights for Zdenka Cole as Martha Gillette... Natalie Iggulden was making her GLT debut as Madge, wife to Felix Geisel. Other cast members include Christina Desilest as Aggie Wheeler, Trent Matthews as Simon Bright and Catherine Kitchen as the quirky Insp. Goring.

Just wanted to pass along my group's thanks and congratulations for a wonderful night of theatre. The Game's Afoot was great fun and the meal and hospitality were first-rate. Thank you for making our first Garrison experience a special one!

    J. P. Antonacci

I have been here many times to see many performances. I have never been disappointed. The meals are great and the performances even better... This theatre company never fails to entertain... We saw The Game's Afoot; I nearly fell out of my chair... Hats off to everyone involved both on stage and behind the set!

    R. Kitchen

I have never laughed so much... A must see!!

    P. Upmanis

Hi Carole, I just wanted to tell you, we went to the play last night and loved it. You were absolutely brilliant.

    D. Roberts

Absolutely hilarious, recommend seeing it!

    C. Richardson

 

The Ladies Foursome by Norm Foster

October - November 2018

An excerpt from The Fort Erie Observer by Paul Sawchuck

...Garrison Little Theatre uses a bare-bones production style to effectively highlight the wit and drama of one woman's impact on the lives of four of her best friends... A day after Catherine's funeral, three of her friends, Tate (Edie Pedersen), Margot (Jo-Lou Bradley) and Connie (Sandy Moore) play their weekly round of 18 holes in honour of Catherine. Completing the foursome this time is Dory (Darka Makarec)... The foursome reflect on their own lives and in doing so, they force out new revelations... It is a wonderful thing to see how creatively these lives are imagined against the simplicity of a round of golf in remembrance of a friend.

Foster's characters are defined well enough and the performances never stray into stereotypes... each character is afforded moments of gravitas, and none overstep it, playing their pain as effectively as any of the absurdism and wit that is on display for the rest of the play... A lot of fun, The Ladies Foursome delivers a small premise with life-altering implications for its characters in a way that never goes over the top... A great night out!

 

 

Ed's Garage by Dan Needles

April 2018

 

Went tonight and Ed's Garage was great! The food was excellent as always and the play was funny and the acting was very well done. Thoroughly enjoyable evening!!!

    J. D. Mason

 

I just saw the show tonight and it was excellent, kept you laughing all the time. The 3 actors and one actress were super. Can't wait till Oct. to see the next one. I would recommend this to everyone!

    E. Hurst

What a good show! Such talent!

    B. Boyer

Things My Mother Taught Me by Katherine DiSavino

February 2018

An excerpt from Niagara This Week by James Culic

Garrison Little Theatre just keeps getting better

The latest production from the Garrison Little Theatre in Fort Erie is one of the most relatable plays I've ever seen...

a wonderfully funny look at a moment in coupledom that many people struggle with today: moving in together before marriage... The play is one of the finest productions mounted by GLT in years. It hums along at a zippy pace... The production also featured some of the finest performances on the stage... Alex Pedersen in the main lead turned in her best performance yet... The new guy to the GLT cast, Eric Jeddry, fit right in and absolutely nailed his performance. Onstage chemistry between a leading couple has never looked so convincing or entertaining... The rest of the cast had little trouble also producing that same kind of chemistry, as the parents were played by a pair of real-life couples, Catherine and Jim Kitchen, and Darka Makarec and Bruce Davenport. As it enters its 32nd year in Fort Erie, the gang at Garrison Little Theatre found their groove and both plays this season have been a hit...

- 5 STARS! Show was gr8 and the supper served was absolutely delicious.

    T. Packer

 

- everyone did a GREAT job last night, the whole cast was top notch. There were four new attendees at our table that were very, very impressed and I wouldn't be surprised if they became new season ticket holders.

    C. Losi

- just have to tell you how much we enjoyed the show the other night. I brought a guest who hasn't seen your performances before and now I have a show buddy. A night full of laughs... thanks again!

    K. Annett

Rehearsal For Murder by D. D. Brooke

October / November 2017

An excerpt from Niagara This Week by Melinda Cheevers

GLT stages a classic whodunnit

Fans of a good old fashioned murder mystery will want to check out Garrison Little Theatre's lates production, Rehearsal for Murder, which doesn't disappoint. The play centres around famous playwright Alex Dennison, played by GLT board president Rick Nigh, who has called together the original cast of his latest play which had debuted one year earlier to mixed reviews. On the play's opening night, its star - and Dennison's fiancee - Monica died. While the police had determined it a suicide, Dennison isn't convinced. The playwright brings everyone together in the now-empty theatre to read his new script - the story of Monica's death. Sandy Moore shines in her role as the doomed Monica, with other standouts including Kendell Perchaluk as the new-to-the-city young assistant, Sally Bean; Samantha Schlosser as the ambitious young actress Karen Daniels, and Zdenka Cole playing the producer Bella Lamb. Rounding out the cast are Ryan Kavanagh, Trent Matthews, Rey Baecher, Chuck Jagiello, Jim Kitchen, Doug Hoyle, Marie Hoyle, Yvette Michaud and Lucio Gismondi.

The story keeps audience guessing about what actually happened to Monica right until the very end and it's a great night out for anyone who loves a good mystery...

- Great show, seen it last Saturday night - 2 thumbs up!

        E. Jefferys

-

Very good luncheon and service, too. Good acting by all and the murderer was a surprise. Very enjoyable!

        D. Rothwell Perham

- It was truly exceptional - Rick Nigh was marvelous, as was all the cast. The story, with the extra twists and questions, held my interest - good lighting contributed to the mood. Congratulations to all!

        A. H. Roebuck

Jacques Plante and the Parkdale Knitting League by Paul McLaughlin

February 2017

Author Paul McLaughlin, Feb. 19 on Twitter:

Thrilled to attend production of my play last night by the Garrison Little Theatre in Fort Erie. Full house, wonderful performances.

 

Was there opening night. I love it when the sets are simple and the story and actors take us through an emotional rollercoaster

of a journey. You all did a bang up job!

          - J. L. Bradley

CTN (Community Theatre in Niagara) was in the audience this weekend and enjoyed the show immensely! Talented group of actors told the wonderful story of a Canadian legend. Hats off to all involved!

Review by James Culic, Niagara This Week

GLT delights with latest stage play

With its latest production, Garrison Little Theatre stepped outside its comfort zone of farces and light comedies. Despite heading into new territory, the cast and crew pulled off yet another fabulous effort with their production of Jacques Plante and the Parkdale Knitting League. Both hockey fans and theatre enthusiasts alike will find plenty to enjoy in the production, which blends the real life story of Plante with a fanciful tale of a woman smitten with the famed goalie through a shared love of knitting. The play is rife with emotional monologues and heartbreaking plot twists, but makes room for a few laughs in between. GLT veterans Chuck Jagiello and Dan Bennett both deliver spectacular and captivating performances, bringing the troubled and eccentric lives of their respective characters to life. Informative for the hockey fan and entertaining for the theater lover, the play is undoubtedly one of the most interesting productions GLT has tackled in years, and shines thanks to the sharp directing work of Rick Nigh.

The Last Round-up of the Guacamole Queens by Jones, Hope, Wooten

October 2016

Totally enjoyed Opening Night last night!!! Hats off to all involved and thanks for making us laugh yet again!

          - J. L. Bradley

Ned Durango comes to Big Oak by Norm Foster

Review by James Culic, Niagara This Week, April 2016

Garrison Little Theatre's latest play has more than a few similarities between its fictional town and the real town of Fort Erie. It's about a small community struggling to retain jobs amid economic downturn and the closure of a large manufacturing facility. However, the entire town has pinned all its hopes and dreams for the future on one big development project, a sprawling amusement park - see: speedway - which promises to turn things around. Will the project ever actually come to fruition, or will it languish on paper, never rescuing the town from the economic doldrums? Well, if I told you that you wouldn't need to watch the play. And watch it you should, because the always enjoyable GLT veteran, Dan Bennett, once again turns in a phenomenal performance in the lead role. As the straight man in a fine comedy duo with Ryan Lunn providing the yuks, the pair lift an otherwise dry script into fantastically funny heights. GLT newcomer Alex Pedersen also got a chance to flex her impressive singing voice in an all-too-brief moment of vocal serenity, while her off-screen mom, Edie Pedersen, and Chuck Jagiello round out a solid cast.

I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick

An excerpt from Niagara This Week by James Culic, February 2016

From the opening scene to the curtain drop at the end, Garrison Little Theatre's latest production packs more laughs into its two-act comedy than almost any other I can recall watching. From the moment veteran GLT actor Zdenka Cole sauntered on stage as the grizzled, chain smoking talent agent, it was clear she had found the right role as each zinger and deadpan gag flowed effortlessly. Newcomers Tom DeGiuli and Tim Denis also performed spectacularly in the lead roles with a straight-man/wise-guy routine that Laurel and Hardy would be proud to witness. The pair performed so well they almost overshadowed the equally impressive debut performance from Dave Deelen who looked all too comfortable in the role of a sleazy TV producer. With jokes coming fast and frequent alongside sharp and witty writing that moves along at a perfect pace, GLT's latest is a production that stage-play lovers and comedy fans alike will certainly want to check out.

(Editor's note: the cast also included strong performances by Alex Pedersen as Deirdre McDavey and Carole Ferriday as Felicia Dantine.)

 

Absolutely LOVED the show last night, "I Hate Hamlet"  is a MUST SEE! From the set, to the story line, acting, wardrobe and the fencing! GLT does another fabulous show, thanks for entertaining us.

    J. L. Bradley

 

Really enjoyed the show last night! A dedicated hearty group of fans came out in nasty weather and were not disappointed! You rocked!

    J. Parrott Christie

 

Absolutely loved the I Hate Hamlet show... all the cast, especially "Hamlet" were terrific!

    N. Fuest Liggio

Mrs. Parliament's Night Out by Norm Foster

An excerpt from The Fort Erie Post by James Culik, November 2015

For the debut play of its 29th season, Garrison Little Theatre decided to swing for the fences with its biggest production ever. Fortunately, it has managed to hit a home run... For GLT's veteran director, Derek Joynes, it was a new challenge to tackle, but one he enjoyed digging into nonetheless. “This is by far the biggest cast we've ever had... so it was definitely more complicated, but also a lot more fun,” said Joynes. While many of the roles are bit parts or cameos, a few managed steal every scene with sharp dialogue delivered to uproarious laughs. Jim Kitchen as the kvetching neighbour performed spectacularly and could hardly drop a line without the audience cracking up... Vince Marinaccio also makes the most of his limited stage time and brought a rock solid performance... The play also featured strong debut performances from GLT newcomers like Rick Sweet and Christina Desilest, alongside excellent roles from local veterans like Rick Nigh and Zdenka Cole...

... The success of the production was largely shouldered by the play's starring role, which was masterfully tackled by stalwart GLT actor Darka Makarec... she handled the demanding role with grace and style. From delivering pointed zingers to belting out emotional monologues, Makarec manages to both find the funny and the feelings as the play moves from a lighthearted romp to a powerful look at the way older couples sometimes drift apart.

With new cast members and a new focus on broadening the company's play selection, the 29th season is shaping up to be its most impressive run yet.

 

“Wonderful show last night! We laughed and laughed!”

    J. P. Christie

 

“Very impressive show – more than a farce, but still plenty of Norm Foster humour. And truly the very first one that I wasn't sure until the end how it would turn out...”

    A. H. Roebuck

 

“We just moved to the area and are very thankful to our friends for introducing us to Garrison Little Theatre. Congratulations to the whole group for an excellent, hilarious and moving “Mrs. Parliament's night out”. Prior to seeing the play, we were at the hall for a pasta night, and we could not believe the transformation! The beautiful set, large stage, lighting, sound, art exhibit in the lobby... all very professional. Bravo!”

    L. Pino

 

We all enjoyed Mrs. Parliament's night Out. You have some great talent in Garrison Little Theatre!

    C. Losi

 

The Mellvile Boys by Norm Foster

I have seen many wonderful, many funny shows at GLT over the past 12 years, but I have NEVER seen a show that was as honest and funny and touching as this one. There was never a moment when I felt I was watching people saying lines. The fear, the anger, the liking and the hurt that was portrayed was genuine to me. Congratulations to Brenda, her cast and crew for bringing to life what must be Norm Foster's best ever play.

    A. H. Roebuck

 

An excerpt from Fort Erie Times, April 2015, by Josh Thomas

It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and it’ll make you think.

Garrison Little theatre is bringing the season to a close on a high note with Norm Foster’s The Melville Boys, directed by Brenda Bennett. What looked like it was going to be a light-hearted comedy about two brothers on a weekend fishing trip turned into a heartfelt tale of family values, growing up, and moving on... Bennett also took on the role of set designer and she created a beautiful and accurate set of a cottage...

Owen and Lee Mellville, played by John Dickhout and Dan Bennett, get the weekend off from the plastic plant their family has worked at for two generations, and take a trip to their uncle’s cottage. Both brothers however have ulterior motives. Owen, who is three weeks from being married, is looking for one last weekend of freedom and isn’t afraid to go a little too far. When he spots a couple of girls on the water he doesn’t hesitate to invite them into the cottage. When sisters Mary and Loretta, played by Lou Bradley and Lily Groulx arrive, the weekend takes an unexpected turn... The show never fully loses it’s humour, but slips slowly and surely into a more serious tone... emotions run high in the intense argument scene, which takes an unexpected turn that is sure to leave any audience gasping... What makes Garrison Little Theatre’s presentation of The Melville Boys unique is how extreme the highs and lows get. The scenes in which the couples are getting to know each other bring about laughter from the audience... the emotional and tense scenes leave the audience with their jaws dropped wondering where the intricate plot will go next.

Packed with life lessons and heart-warming moments, by the end of the night everyone has taken something away from The Mellville Boys. If you’re a fan of community theatre or would like to try it out, there’s no better choice than The Melville Boys. Many members of the audience said this was one of the best shows Garrison Little Theatre has put on all season.

 

Cat's Cradle by Leslie Sands

We thoroughly enjoyed the show tonight as usual. The whole cast were excellent and the scene with Lily and Tesla discussing Mr. Fulton had us teary-eyed. Bravo, GLT, bravo!

R. Pigden

 

An excerpt from the Fort Erie Times, February 17, 2015 by Sarah Ferguson

Dark mystery keeps audience guessing

Cat’s Cradle, directed by Chuck Jagiello, is a noir thriller about an inspector who returns to a small town to solve the 12 year-old case of the disappearance of a six-month-old baby. When Inspector Frost, played by Rick Nigh, returns, he finds he is not welcome.

The audience will soon learn something dark and sinister is lurking.

The show features a lineup of GLT veterans which include Nigh, along with Carole Ferriday as Peggy Fletcher, Dan Bennett as Sam Fletcher, Marie Hoyle as Miss Merton, Lily Groulx as Pamela Fulton and Mike Ceci as Sir Charles Cresswell.

Tesla Spoar and Dalton Bird are newcomers to the GLT, but adapt well into the group of veterans around them, and it is easy to see they will be around some time to become veterans themselves.

The GLT has fun with the quick witted dialogue even when it turns sour for their characters.

As the events turn, GLT keeps up the pace so we can follow along and piece together the puzzle of Cat’s Cradle.

GLT could not be possible without the efforts of its community volunteers, including set decor by Holde Unverzagt, set construction and carpentry by Patrick Ferriday and members of the GLT, lighting design by Dan Bennett, costumes by Tania Remmler, sound by Siobhan Bennett and Jordan Loople and all volunteers of the GLT.

 

Niagara This Week, February 19, 2015 by James Culic

GLT kick off 2015 with a thrilling whodunit

Productions from Garrison Little Theatre typically skew towards lighthearted farces, but with its latest play the company has gone in a different direction.

The play is ostensibly a murder mystery, but the twist is that the characters are trying to discover answers to a crime that happened more than a decade earlier. The plot winds and turns wildly through each act, with suspicions being cast around between different characters, leaving the audience to play a delightful guessing game of whodunit right up through the big reveal at the end.

Alongside a new type of play, the production also featured the debut of one of Fort Erie’s rising dramatic stars, Dalton Bird, who performed spectacularly in the role of journalist Bob Marriott.

“It was a lot of fun and I think we’re getting better with every performance,” said Bird after the show.

Fellow youngster Tesla Spoar also made her GLT debut with a solid performance as the young Sarah Fulton, and GLT regulars like Dan Bennet, Rick Nigh and Lily Groulx all delivering engrossing renditions of their various characters.

 

Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti

An excerpt from Niagara This Week, November 20, 2014 by James Culic

The Fort Erie play company certainly had no trouble bringing the laughs to opening night on Friday, where Marc Camoletti’s farce “Boeing Boeing” entertained the crowd with its twists and turns. Veteran GLT actors Darka Makarec and James Reid both delivered strong performances, but newcomer Margaret Gleeson really stole the show as Bertha, the aloof housemaid. Scrambling from scene to scene to cover up after her dawdling boss, Bernard (played be fellow newcomer Bruce Davenport), Gleeson shone particularly bright with near-perfect comedic timing, delivering the maid’s one-liners with a mix of frustration and nonchalance. Rounding out the cast, Lily Groulx and Edie Pedersen found their stride and looked comfortable playing the salacious knockout beauties who keep the lead males on their toes....

The play’s set design work – from Dan Bennett and Patrick Ferriday – was also some of the best yet for GLT, making excellent use of the limited space inside the Italo-Canadian Club hall.

Over The River and Through The Woods by Joe DiPietro

A comment from audience member, November 2013

I just went to see Over The River and Through the Woods. It was hilarious!! Well written and perfectly presented. The actors are fantastic!! The lunch was delicious too!! Now I am in the process of organizing my little group for the next play and hopefully for the whole of next season. Congratulations to all of you wonderful people who continue to make this little theatre happen for us.

 

An excerpt from Fort Erie Post by Luke Edwards

The importance of "Tengo Familia" - Curtains up as GLT debuts first play of the new season

The three F's: faith, family and food. In the latest production at the Garrison Little Theatre in Fort Erie, there's plenty of all three.

... the banter between Nunzio and Frank is natural, fluid and hilarious... the two provide great comedy. For Nick's grandmothers, Emma is able to turn the tables and make the audience feel for the grandparents. And what Italian play would be complete without food? Aida provides that, with a side of laughs.

Having Hope at Home by David S. Craig

An excerpt from Niagara This Week, May 2014, by James Culic

With more twists and turns than a rural Niagara back road, Having Hope at Home delivers an intimate tale of family dynamics with a perfectly-timed sprinkling of laughs to keep things from getting bogged down. The plot centres on newlyweds Carolyn and Michel, played by GLT veterans Lily Groulx and James Reid, as they prepare for the birth of their first child. Things go off the rails quickly though, when the couple’s parents show up with their disapproving quips and snipes. Longtime GLT members Chuck Jagiello and Zdenka Cole displayed a powerful chemistry as the bickering parents, and the affable Reynaldo Baecher once again struck comedy gold in the role of the bumbling grandfather, with Darka Makarec returning to GLT to round out the cast with an equally strong performance. With its charming Canadian setting and touching family tale, theatre lovers will definitely want to catch one of GLT’s final performances of the season next weekend.

 

A comment from a Friend of GLT

"We already have our season's tickets. In fact, we talked friends of ours into getting season tickets. I got them to come to one show and this year they are now season ticket holders! All the volunteers that make up the Garrison Little Theatre do a wonderful job! I know this season's shows will be a great success. Every one at our table last year were more than satisfied. Every year the players get better and better."

 

Killjoy by Jerry Mayer

An excerpt from Fort Erie Post/Niagara this week, by James Culic, May 2013

Garrison Little Theatre closes out season with a bang

... with its double entendres and double crosses... Killjoy delivers all the twists and laughs that people have come to expect from the established local theatre troupe. With Killjoy, GLT has closed out the 2012-13 season with its strongest production to date, bolstered by knockout performances from Valerie Winslow and Chuck Jagiello as the embittered divorcees. GLT veteran Ryan Lunn also gave a stellar performance and smoothly delivered sleazeball lines like, "This divorce settlement is full of trickery, deception and subterfuge... it's some of my best work." The cast was rounded out with great performances from the supporting characters, including Kim Howard and James Reid... and Samantha Schlosser fit perfectly into the role of the conniving trophy wife.

Bedside Manners by Derek Benfield

An excerpt from The Fort Erie Post, February 2013

BIG LAUGHS FROM GARRISON LITTLE THEATRE

... the play packs a healthy dose of laughs and slapstick... Roger and Geoff decide to indulge in a weekend of extra-marital affairs. Both men head out to a secluded motel, only to find out their wives are at the same motel, doing the exact same thing. Their web of lies spirals out of control until both men are crushed under the weight of their deceit... the motel's savvy manager, played by Reynaldo Baecher, uses the opportunity to extort a few extra bucks from the philandering couples... Baecher shone in his first outing in a meatier role. When it comes to innuendo and slapstick, nobody does it better than Dan Bennett, who really shines in the role of Roger. Rick Nigh plays Geoff... the two lead actors did a fantastic job of playing off one another. Carole Ferriday as Helen and Maxine Simons as Sally round off the cast, and both did a solid job tackling the physically challenging comedic roles.

 

February 2013

As expected, we had a great dinner and enjoyed conversation with all who are assigned to our table.
There was a couple at our table who are new to the area and they were very impressed with not only
the dinner, but also the decor of the hall and the comedy that had us all laughing. At times I even
heard some loud belly laughs from the men! Please tell all who are involved in making the night so enjoyable (no matter how lowly or unimportant they think their tasks are) that I know how hard everyone worked so that small details that added to the success of the whole evening didn't appear by accident.

C. Losi

 

Getting Sara Married by Sam Bobrick

November 2012

I just wanted to take this opportunity to extend a big Thank You to all the individuals associated with the Garrison Little Theatre. My wife, Jody and I attended the show, Getting Sara Married, this past Saturday evening and found the play very enjoyable. The actors were fantastic and the play itself had just the right amount of humour and twists that made for a truly wonderful evening. My only disappointement on the evening, was to learn that there will not be another show until the Spring of next year! But after seeing the performances on Saturday evening, I can assure you that it will not be our last time visiting the Garrison Little Theatre and we look forward to next Spring!

Terry J.

 

I think that a name change at this time is probably needed. The quality of entertainment put on justifies dropping "Little". Garrison Theatre, I believe, is now appropriate. Maybe for the year 2013?

Jim H.

 

Excerpt from Niagara This Week, November 2012, by James Culic

Garrison Little Theatre's newest production, Getting Sara Married, is a simple twist on the boy-meets-girl scenario. Finding new and interesting ground in such an overused plot isn't easy, but GLT's production succeeds at doing just that, largely on the stellar chemistry between the two lead roles. Ryan Lunn and Darka Markarec are both veterans of GLT who have worked together on a number of plays, and their ability to perform alongside one another has been steadily growing more impressive with each new production. Lunn, as Brandon, repeatedly finds himself knocked out and delivered to the door of Sara, played by Makarec. Her aunt Martha, played by Marie Hoyle, is desparately trying to set Sara up with any eligible bachelor she can find, even ignoring the "eligible" part if need be. "By the time I was your age, I was already married, twice," Martha tells her, before sending an unconscious Brandon - who is already engaged - over to Sara for a date. Brandon's fiancee soon catches wind of the whole ordeal, and things devolve and go awry in all the usual, comedic manner . . . The rest of the cast all performed well, including a particularly quirky and amusing performance from Rey Baecher as the hapless delivery man who keeps dropping Brandon on Sara's doorstep.

 

Confusions by Alan Ayckbourn

May 2012

Seeing the Garrison Little Theater's masterful production of Confusions was a real joy, and I think Ayckbourn, whom I met during my visit to Scarborough, would have been very pleased at the authenticity of the actors' characterizations, and the production's deep understanding of his signature mix of humor and darkness.

I was especially pleased to applaud my old friend Ed Roberts in the role of The Vicar in one of the five playlets in "Confusions" -- he was hilarious! -- but I must say there wasn't an off-note in any of the actors' performances. This was real, compelling, and vital acting, and the people of the Niagara region are lucky to have such troupers in their midst.

Though I have gone on to a journalism career that does not involve theater professionally, I am still a passionate and regular theatergoer in New York City, on-, off-, and off-off Broadway. This wonderful production would have fit in very nicely there!

Bravo to all the performers, and it was worth the 8-hour train ride up to Canada to see this marvelous production.
Thank you for taking me back to Ayckbourn -- he reminds us of the delicate balance between laughter and tears. As his plots unfold, you begin to realize that being human is the only choice we've got, so we might as well laugh! And laugh I did!

Peggy Jo D.

Don't Dress for Dinner by Marc Camoletti

March 2012

Just a quick note to tell you how much we enjoyed the play this past weekend. Don't Dress for Dinner was probably the funniest show that we have seen. It has been 4 days now and my face still hurts from laughing! Every time I think about the show I break out into a stupid grin! Looking forward to the next show!

L & S Brown

 

Excerpt from Fort Erie Post, March 1, 2012, by James Culik

GLT's latest is a saucy good time

If you like your entendres to be of the double, triple and quadruple variety, Don't Dress for Dinner might be just the play for you. With its razor sharp dialogue and philandering mixups, Garrison Little Theatre's new production is a wonderful ride provided you don't mind doing a bit of mental gymnastics to keep everything straight in your head. That's because to keep the fragile balance between their wives and mistresses, Bernard and Robert, the two monogamy-challenged lead characters, have to spin a web of lies so complicated that its nearly impossible to keep them all straight... The laughs come early and often between Bernard, played masterfully by Dan Bennett, and Robert, a role Lee Moffatt nailed and looked very comfortable playing. The comedy is really divided into two parts with Moffatt handling most of the physical comedy and Bennett tackling the fast, punchy dialogue between him and Lou Bradley, who did an outstanding job as the cook/niece/mistress... Playing the role of the posh French model was a perfect match for Darka Makarec, who looked absolutely stunning when she burst onto the stage wearing a bright red dress... she managed to look confident while she played the hapless model and was at her best when things got really hectic...

 

Looking by Norm Foster

Excerpt from Niagara This Week, November 2011, by Richard Hutton

'LOOKING' FOR A GOOD TIME?

Some of the best lines in Garrison Little Theatre's production of the Norm Foster comedy "Looking" are absolutely hilarious. Unfortunately, they can't be printed in a family newspaper. Just say the bar which is at the centre of the production is called the Private Dick, which of course, is slang for a private detective and becomes front and centre in several one-liners delivered by the play's four characters... Andy (Mel Longwell), Matt (Rick Nigh), Val (Valerie Winslow) and Nina (Darka Makarec) meet on a blind date after Andy puts a personal ad in his local newspaper and Val answers it. Val, afraid to go alone, invites Nina along, which of course means Andy needs to bring Matt. When these four meet up, the audience is privy to their feelings of self-loathing and departures from reality... All four cast members are solid under the direction of GLT founding member Derek Joynes. The staging is sparse, the props are minimal, pacing is crisp and the dialogue is sharp...

On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson

April 2011

Just wanted to congratulate you, the actors as well as all who made On Golden Pond such a success. Friday we enjoyed the great meal and then we were gifted with a performance that will be remembered and praised for a long time. Tell everyone who was responsible that Table 3 sends their congratulations. Even though we got home after midnight, we felt the time was well spent. Keep smiling!! Garrison Little Theatre had a wonderful 25th Anniversary season! We are looking forward to next season.

C. Lossi

 

Excerpt from Niagara This Week, April 2011, by Richard Hutton

Season Ending Production 'Golden' for GLT

Wearing their roles as easily as a pair of comfortable shoes, Derek and Pat Joynes were Normal and Ethel Thayer as Garrison Little Theatre began to wind down its 25th anniversary season with Ernest Thompson's On Golden Pond. The couple's performance comes amongst worthy and solid performances from the rest of the cast. Dan Bennett's turn as Charlie the postman brightened the stage with his presence. Newcomer Brad Doyle, who's just 13, played the age-appropriate role of Billy Ray Jr. and managed to make a connection with Joynes' Norman, both in character and as an actor. Darka Makarec (Chelsea), John Dickhout (Bill Ray) both put in solid performances...But it was the performance of the Joynes that made this production tick. With decades of acting experience under their respective belts, the Joynes came across being entirely at ease with the roles.

Odd Couple (Female version) by Neil Simon

Excerpt from Niagara This Week, February 10, 2011 by Richard Hutton

GLT's telling of the ODD COUPLE goes beyond simple laughter

But it's those laughs that keep audiences coming back and the Garrison Little Theatre's production of the Neil Simon play is proof of that. Just prior to Friday's opening, the first-time director looked out into a packed house at the Italo-Canadian Club with a certain level of astonishment. "This is the first time we have been sold out on opening night," Cole said. And it was easy to see why... The play centres around the slovenly Olive Madison and finicky neatnik Florence Unger being thrust together when Florence's marriage breaks down. Maxine Simons (Olive) and Valerie Winslow (Florence) are solid in the lead roles and lend authenticity to the tension that develops... There's a core group of friends on hand to lend support including the ditzy Vera (Sarah Wilkie), policewoman Mickey (Ali Schofield), Sylvie (Elizabeth Vlossak), who wants to start a family, and Renee (Carole Ferriday), who seems to be more in love with the idea of being in love with her gynecologist boyfriend than actually being in love with him. But it's Rick Nigh and Chuck Jagiello who steal the show when they take to the stage in the second act as Jesus and Manolo Constazuela... Jagiello and Nigh delivered a performance that channelled more than a hint of Steve Martin and Dan Aykrod's iconic Czech Brothers, Yortuk and Georg Festrunk (Two wild and crazy guys) from Saturday Night Live... In all, the production was a solid effort for director Cole, who stepped up to the plate to helm the production after the death of her husband, Tom Masek, last July. The production was dedicated to his memory.

The Mumberley Inheritance by Warren Graves

Excerpt from Niagara This Week, November 2010 by R. Hutton

"Inheritance" a crowd pleaser

It's easy to see why The Mumberley Inheritance was chosen as one of the most popular productions ever in the 25-year history of the Garrison Little Theatre. Warren Graves' melodrama/comedy is filled with laughs and over-the-top performances that leaves one wondering if they are actually watching an old black and white serial at their local movie house. The audience booed and hissed at the villain, cheered the hero and sang along... Dan Bennett as the villainous Marmaduke Mayhem channelled his best Snidley Whiplash... Chuck Jagiello's Roger Mumberley was spot on portrayal of the gruff, but loving patriarch of the Mumberley Estate. Daughter Daphne was played earnestly by Ali Schofield, son Jack by Jamie Reid, Rodney Stoutheart by Robert Boitor. Ryan Lunn as Crispin Cringe delivered a solid performance as Mayhem's sniveling henchman, while Polly Dumpling (Darka Makarec) and maidservant Dotty (Dawn Biggs) rounded out the cast. Setting this production apart from most GLT productions was the set's complexity. Designers Patrick Ferriday and Hazel Reinhart brought the turn-of-the-20th century Mumberley manor to life...

Perfect Wedding by Robin Hawdon

Excerpt from The Fort Erie Post, April 2010 by Richard Hutton

The passion GLT has for presenting live theatre is clearly evident in the quality of the productions. One can only look forward to what the 25th anniversary year will bring.

As it turned out, Perfect Wedding was a perfect ending to the Garrison Little Theatre's 2009-10 season. There's an old saying in show business that says to leave 'em laughing and that's exactly what GLT did last Friday... Director Pat Joynes promised laughs when she spoke about the show during rehearsals and she delivered, bringing out the best comic instincts in the six-member cast. Valerie Winslow is suitably befuddled as the chambermaid but she also seems to be the one character with a smattering of common sense. Ryan Lunn's Bill is played with a sense of urgency that emphasizes his panicky state, while Robert Boitor nearly steals the show as Tom, the best man who struggles to keep up with Bill's coverup of his undercover activities the night before. Emma Cuneo as Judy, the mystery woman, and Kelsey Jagiello as bride-to-be Rachel both deliver solid performances, as well. Marie Hoyle, as the mother-in-law, is delightfully anoying. She conjures up thoughts of a character from another Britcom - Keeping Up Appearances' Hyacinth Bucket, as played by Patricia Routledge...

 

Animal Magnetism by Simon Joynes

March 2010

Oh my god, I don't know if the plays can get any better. This one was outstanding. I am lost for words how good this one was . . . BRAVA!!! . . .

Donna S.

 

Excerpt from the Fort Erie Post, February 2010 by Richard Hutton

GLT's Animal Magnetism lives up to its promises

... director Lee Moffatt promised a "playground of fun". Did he and his cast of characters manage to deliver on that promise? Yes - and in spades. Animal Magnetism presented a perfect opportunity for Moffatt to inject his love for physical comedy, and the cast, GLT newcomer Chris Corner in particular, embraced the idea... Corner's role as Paul was a physically demanding one, full of running, dancing, pratfalls and face-plants. Tina Chivers was also outstanding in her role of the overly-stressed (veterinarian) Joy, caught up in circumstances beyond her control. Animal control officer Clive (Dan Bennett) was secretly kidnapping animals and stashing them at Joy's clinic and to top things off, Joy's divorced parents, mother Susan (Zdenka Cole) and father John (Ron Mottloa), both decide to stop in for a visit... Joy is stuck entertaining a mom she can never please and a dad she badly wants to please... In fact, Animal Magnetism seems to be a story of hidden agendas. Man-hungry Susan sets her eyes on Paul, while Paul catches on to Clive's animal napping plot. Joy meanwhile, introduces Clive as her husband in order to please her father. Enter Katey Campbell as police officer Diane. The befuddled officer is closing in on Clive, although you get the sense she doesn't even realize it. All the while, she becomes smitten with John. Some of Campbell's best work comes when she is not speaking... Animal Magnetism was penned by Simon Joynes... it is fast-paced with some of the best action coming in the background of scenes, particularly when Susan is finally able to get her hands on Paul.

 

Moon Over Buffalo by Ken Ludwig

December 2009

Hello GLT! Moon over Buffalo was my first experience at your shows. I thought the meal was fantabulous and the play blew me away. It was great. Can't wait till the next one, I've got tickets for the 3 shows this year. Good Job!

Beatrice G.

 

Excerpt from The Fort Erie Post, November 2009
by Richard Hutton

Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo draws laughs for GLT

"Buffalo is like Scranton without the charm." That line, delivered by the character of Ethel, brought about the first of many laughs provided by Garrison Little Theatre's production of Moon Over Buffalo... The hard-of-hearing Ethel, played by Pat Joynes, displayed a genuine crabbiness and a great sense of comic timing that almost stole the show from the central cast. And that may have been the case if it weren't for Lee Moffatt's portrayal of George... the play draws many laughs, especially from Moffatt's portrayal, particularly in the second act when he spent all his time on stage in a state of inebriation, which was genuine and passionate. Charlotte (his wife), played by Pat Crimmins, is furious over learning that George has not only had an affair with Eileen (Monique Ransom)... but that Eileen is also pregnant. When Charlotte learns of an impending visit by film director Frank Capra... she puts off leaving George for Richard, a lawyer played by Ian MacGregor. So blinded is Charlotte that she even mistakes her daughter Rosalind's geeky fiancee, Howard, for the legendary director. And when George, in his drunken stupor, disappears, Charlotte is mortified. Even when George is finally located, she is adamant that the show must go on. George's condition, however, makes for comical results. Then there is Paul, Rosalind's former boyfriend played by Vince Marinaccio. Paul clearly wants her back but Rosalind, played by Darka Makarec, displays an authentic disdain for all things theatre. She is quite content to pursue a career in advertising and settle into life with Howard, a local weatherman. At least that's what we are led to believe.... Moon Over Buffalo is a fast-paced comedy that keeps the audience in stitches. There is never a dull moment with the entire cast helping to keep the laughs going.

Perils of Persephone by Dan Needles

Excerpt from The Fort Erie Post, May 2009
by Melinda Cheevers

Garrison Little Theatre's production of Perils of Persephone sent their 2008/2009 season off with a bang... beautifully acted by a talented cast (Editor's note: including a fresh performance by a newcomer, Zane Scott)... kept its audience captivated and laughing throughout... Marie Hoyle (Marj) was masterful portraying the country wife who married Eldon (Derek Joynes, co-director) for the view from his window. Rachel Moses played the intelligent daughter and brought an innocence to the role. Dave Reid captured the attention of the audience in his role as the rough around the edges farmer brother... In the role of Minister of the Environment Henry Burford, Reynaldo Baecher did a fantastic job as a well-meaning politician... he and Pat Crimmins (Skip Fuller) played off each other like they'd been acting together for years.

 

A Nice Family Gathering by Phil Olson

Excerpt from The Fort Erie Times, February 2009
by Kris Dubé

Laughter and delicious pasta... what else can you ask for? A couple of weeks ago, I attended the opening night of Garrison Little Theatre (GLT)'s most recent production "A Nice Family Gathering" at the Italo-Canadian Club. This certainly wasn't the first GLT production I've attended, but I particularly enjoyed this one. Part of it might revolve around the fact that the story deals with awkward situations within families, and I brought both my parents along with me. But mostly, I enjoyed it because of how consistently I laughed throughout the night, and at times was moved by the dramatic performances from some cast members. There were familiar faces I've see in pretty much every other GLT play I've been an audience member for, and there were new people I've never seen before... all of them exceptional.

 

February 2009

Wow! Family Gathering is a wonderful play, and this was a fine production of it. The cast was consistently good, and the many laughs were happy ones. The whole production seemed to flow faultlessly without effort or error. Congratulations and thanks to all for a delightful evening.

Edward R.

 

February 2009

Just had to send you a quickie message to say WOW! Attended yesterday’s matinee and the play was fabulous! An incredible cast and I have to say that Ryan Lunn is a natural, taking such command of his role, it was absolutely priceless. This performance will remain fresh in my mind for a long time. Thank you for an amazing afternoon. BRAVO GLT!!!

Beth H.

 

February 2009

I would like to say, we have had season ticket's for the past 3 years and I think this was the BEST one yet.

Ryan (Lunn) and Zdenka (Cole) were such naturals. All were great but those 2 need to pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Hope to see Ryan in more of your performances. Thanks again for the great entertainment!

Donna S.

 

February 2009

Clearly the star of A Nice Family Gathering was the ghost of a deceased doctor skillfully played by Edward Cook, whose comedic timing elevated the play beyond light comedy. The ghost returns to save his wealthy widow, solidly played by Zdenka Cole, from a womanizing hustler whose manic stage presence was quite irritating.

Several adult children do a lot of whining about their now deceased father who they felt paid more attention to his medical practice and his golf game, and too little attention to their needs. Though the play can be seen at a simple level of comic sketch, an underlying message is the bonus take-home nudge to us all to appreciate the father who worked too hard and died too young, a man who expressed his love and caring by giving his family financial ease and privilege in place of time. It's a real wake up call for positive appreciation of anyone who might express love differently than you yourself do.

A Nice Family Gathering, cleverly written by Phil Olson, opened to an audience rendered lethargic from a delicious but very heavy meal of course after course of salad and Marie's fabulous breads, pasta with sauce, sausages and meatballs, fried chicken, potatoes and vegetables, pastries and coffee that took forever to serve and clear. All that plus beer and wine. If the meal was served sooner and more efficiently it would likely result in an eager fresher audience primed to enjoy a lively production. Garrison Little Theatre delivered a very good production!

Pat H.

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