Murder at Oakwood Resort

All this going on at a local Hotel?

Grand Benders should be shocked by the goings-on just down the road at the Oakwood Resort! So many murders are being plotted!

Fortunately, these murder plotters aren’t the brightest lights and – spoiler alert — they are never able to actually pull it off.

Murder at Oakwood Resort is a silly comedy based on a love triangle, now playing at Playhouse II in Grand Bend. Arlene Miller is secretly meeting her paramour, dentist Mitchell Lovell at a room in the Oakwood Inn. Together they plot to kill Arlene’s husband, used car salesman Paul Miller. But they don’t quite kill him. And because Arlene is a total flake, she is never sure which man she loves. So the murder plots continue…and that’s all we can say for fear of further spoiling the plot.

Written in 1979, Murder at Oakwood Resort was originally called Murder at Howard Johnson’s. Drayton Entertainment previously produced it in St. Jacobs, entitled Murder at the Best Western. Later this summer, it will be on stage in Penetanguishene as Murder at Fern Resort. You get the idea. So a couple of things don’t ring true – since Oakwood Inn isn’t a high rise, I doubt if you can kill anyone by shoving them out the window.

But the costumes are true to 1979: Dentist Mitchell has his plaid jacket and checkered pants, bandana tied around his neck, and amazing side burns.

The action takes place over a year – starting at Christmas, then July 1 Canada Day, and then the next New Year’s Eve. All the action takes place in rooms at the hotel.

Nigel Hamer is excellent as Dr. Mitchell Lovell, the dentist who apparently has regular affairs with women he meets in his chair. He’s a player who thinks he’s much smoother and better looking than he actually is. Hamer has excellent comedic timing and is very convincing as the sleazy dentist, who doesn’t have ethics in his practise or his personal life.

Lee MacDougall makes the perfect jilted husband – totally innocent and baffled by his wife’s infidelity. He is hilarious as the bland and boring used car salesman, always wearing grey.

Susie Burnett plays Arlene, the flakey wife who jumps back and forth between the two men in her life. Burnett goes over the top with the character, garnering laughs with her extreme reactions.

It’s a clever little murder/comedy, just an hour and half including intermission, but lots of laughs in between.

Murder at Oakwood Resort continues with eight shows a week until June 23 at Playhouse II Grand Bend. Tickets are available at Drayton Entertainment at 1-888-449-4463, or check

Murder at Oakwood Resort
By Ron Clark and Sam Bobrick
Directed by Bob Lohrmann
Performed by Susie Burnett, Nigel Hamer, Lee MacDougall
Drayton Entertainment
Playhouse II, Grand Bend
June 12 to 23, 2012
Reviewed by Mary Alderson


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