Christopher Durang's, "Beyond Therapy"

Elgin Theatre Guild’s production of Beyond Therapy is full of dysfunctional characters and comedy that functions so well. Directed by Charles Martin, Donald D’Haene and Dave Semple, Beyond Therapy is a story about six crazy, unique people venturing into the world of rehabilitation. From an awkward socialite, to a premature sexual fiend, to the forgetful and oblivious kook, the audience will get a mixture of characters that effortlessly brighten up each room they set foot in. Filled with crude humour juxtaposed with light-hearted silliness, Beyond Therapy is guaranteed to fill up a room with laughter.

As the audience gets a glimpse into the offices of the therapists Stuart (Dave Semple) and Charlotte (Marilyn Baron), it is revealed that even professional psychologists can carry their own flaws. Both professionals bring their own technique to rehabilitate their patients. Dave Semple’s Stuart is a convincing sleazebag who often attempts to elevate his work relationships to the next level. Strutting his buttoned down shirt and five o’clock shadow, Stuart is the guy the audience loves to hate, because Semple does it so well. In contrast, Marilyn Baron’s Charlotte is one of the most lovable characters on stage. Although her “live in the moment” lifestyle does not necessarily transcend as well with the characters she associates with, and her forgetfulness makes her blind to consequences, she is a loveable character. Baron successfully plays one of the most idiotic characters of the production, but does it in a charming and elegant way.

The two lovers, Bruce (Sam Shoebottom) and Prudence (Ronda D’Haene-Stewart) successfully juxtapose one another. The over-emotional and talkative Bruce paired with the closed-minded and sassy Prudence produces humorous banter, but that does not mean that they are not a cohesive couple. This cohesiveness is shaken up by Bruce’s male lover Bob (Donald D’Haene), who stirs up the scene with amazing comedic timing, fierce stage presence, and more silly drama than any Spanish Novella. If there is one character that will set a room on fire- both figuratively and literally- it is Bob. When the bumbling Bruce, the picky Prudence and the Beyoncé-esque Bob are in the same room, best believe that laughter will ensue.

Elgin Theatre’s Production of Beyond Therapy is full of crude humour and ridiculousness at every minute of the play. It’s a lively comedy that depicts a mess of deviant people in a charming way. Although flawed in their own way, each character’s abnormal behaviour shows how much more laughter one can get compared to the norm.

​Rating 8/10

Beyond Therapy (October 15 16 17 18 & October 22, 23, 24, 25)

Elgin Theatre Guild

40 Princess Ave, St. thomas

Tickets 519.637 3306

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