The Great Cottage Catastrophe

Cottage Prices can be Murderous

The prices keep going up on Kawartha cottages.  A cottage that was evaluated at only $195,000 three years ago is now listed at $3.25 million.  And of course, folks are lined up to present higher offers in the bidding war. 

Sound familiar? I want to say the current comedy at Globus Theatre is based on a true story, when it comes to cottage real estate.  But with dead bodies piling up and a cast of hilarious characters all wanting to get their hands on the lakefront cottage, it’s too funny to be true.

Sarah Quick has written a comedy-murder mystery and served it up dinner-theatre style at the Lakeview Arts Barn.  Theatre-goers are spaced in the dining room according to Covid-19 safety precautions.  The seven actors move around the room, often discussing the cottage sale with the diners.  There are risers around the perimeter, so that the cast members can jump up when they have something to say to the entire audience.

The cottage owner, The Right Honourable Harold Smidgeon appears on the big screen to explain the very specific conditions to which the purchaser must adhere.  He also makes it emphatically clear that his nephew is not to inherit the cottage.  That leaves two real estate agents competing for the title of #1, and salivating over the commission they could earn. The remaining characters are eager to make offers on the cottage.

While there is a prepared script for the cast to follow, there are also many improv moments, adding to the humour.  Each actor has perfect comedic timing, and the laughs come one after another. 

James Barrett is perfect as the Chamber of Commerce chairman, president of the Historical Society, head bird watcher, and general community organizer.  Chris Gibbs is hilarious as the self-proclaimed best Canadian Actor in the World, turning his every comment into a Shakespearean soliloquy.  Connor Thompson as the annoying nephew trying to discourage potential bidders adds humour with his obvious lies.   

Dave Pearce is great fun as an online gamer, while hiding an important secret. Armon Ghaeinizadeh as the Tik-Tok influencer has both good comedic timing and excellent dance skills.

The two real estate agents, Jennine Profeta and Susan North literally fight it out for supremacy, adding to the suspense and creating some laughs as fierce competitors.

An abundance of appetizers are served as the audience meets the cast, while preparing their bids and listing their “must haves” for their cottage purchase. As the audience enjoys their main course dishes, (filled with generous portions), cast members visit the tables, trying to gain support for their offers to buy the cottage.

Suddenly there is another shocking murder, all the cast become suspects.  The audience is asked to name the murderer, and as the action unfolds, the guilty party is revealed over dessert.  Prizes are awarded to the audience member who guesses correctly and supports the reasoning. 

It’s a wonderful night out, with lots of laughs and murder mystery fun. Dinner and a show, what more could you want? An excellent evening for a multi-generation family or a friends’ get-together. 

The Great Cottage Catastrophe continues at the Globus Theatre, Lakeview Arts Barn near Bobcaygeon, until August 7.  Tickets available by calling the Box Office at 705-738-2037 or 1-800-304-7897 or visit https://www.lakeviewartsbarn.com/globus-current-season for more information.

Photo: On the right, Armon Ghaeinizadeh as Akhtar Davar, the Tik-Tok influencer with perfect hair.  In the background on the left is James Barrett as Stanley Ball, the town historian, and Connor Thompson as Nick, the lazy nephew.  Are these murder victims or murder suspects?  See the show to find out.    Photo by Dalhia Katz

The Great Cottage Catastrophe
By Sarah Quick
Performed by James Barrett, Jeannine Profeta, Connor Thompson, Dave Pearce, Susan North, Chris Gibbs, Armon Ghaeinizadeh
Globus Theatre, Lakeview Arts Barn, Bobcaygeon
July 21 to August 7, 2021
Reviewed by Mary Alderson

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