Curtain Call: Real estate open house at its funniest at Phoenix Stage Company

Phoenix Stage Company, Oakville: You never know whose home when one knocks on the door at the Phoenix Stage Company’s production of Any Body Home? A comic mystery by Carl Ritchie and Elaine Dewsberry, this production focuses on Susan, a real estate broker who desperately needs to make a sale or she’s out of a job. Her competitor is a devious character who will stop at nothing to make a sale and prevent Susan from selling a property. Susan’s worst nightmare occurs when she decides to hold an open house for client Daphne’s condo, but discovers when she enters the apartment that Daphne is lying on the sofa dead to the world — literally.

Ed Bassett who wears many creative hats as managing director of the Phoenix directs this play with non-stop action and perfect comic timing. He has also cast this production with actors who step into their roles convincingly and deliver outstanding. Colleen Renzullo is especially fine as the stressed out real estate agent. She has complete control of the stage as she maneuvers even the most difficult tasks, such as dragging a body from one side of the stage to the other. Her performance is top notch.

Few actors receive kudos for acting dead, but Lindsey Halliwell certainly deserves them. Her performance is truly phenomenal. That’s saying a lot for someone who plays dead. You have to see her to believe it. Mary Wilson is also amazing as the sex obsessed old lady who lives next door to dead Daphne. When the old lady tells her many outrageously exotic sexual encounters,  you will have to laugh out loud. Aric Martin is a man of many disguises and he pulls them off hilariously well whether playing an Elvis look-alike or Countess Von Spadina. Brian Elser and Jolie Cook also contribute to the fun factor.

Overall, this is a good time comedy. Some of the wigs are weird and the mustache and beard ridiculous, but other than that this is a guaranteed have fun show. Ed Bassett does just about everything for this production including directing, set painting and finishing and sound design. Also helping Bassett with set construction is Al Hathaway who designed the lights and is the master electrician. Lori Poulin helped out with costumes and props. The set is attractive and features all the necessities to make this play work effectively with all the entrances and exits easy to maneuver.

The production plays through May 13. Box office: 860- 417-2505.
Joanne Greco Rochman is an active member in The American Theatre Critics Association.  She welcomes comments. Contact: [email protected]