Carol’s Culture Corner: RENOVATIONS FOR SIX delivers “an evening of laughter”

Renovations for Six, written by Norm Foster, is making its American debut at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills. Norm Foster is one of Canada’s most prolific and most produced playwrights and one of Theater 40’s favorite. This is his fifth play that they have presented at the theater, and the previous ones have been enjoyed by audiences as well as those who performed in them. This play is Theatre 40’s first production in its 54th season.

This very funny comedy opens with Shayna and Grant Perkins (Rebecca Driscoll and Lane Compton) who have recently moved to a new town where Grant was hired as the manager of a furniture store. Shayna is a pilates instructor and is anxious to meet new people who might be interested in participating in her classes. Even though they are caught up in renovating their new home, they decide to have a dinner party as a way of accomplishing that feat.

Billie and Wing Falterman (Gail Johnson and David Hunt Stafford are a couple who receive an invitation from the Perkins. During their younger years, they were a dance couple in show business. But that was some time ago. Wing has been a salesman, for quite some time, in the store that Grant now manages. This makes Billie suspicious as to why they were invited and she puts the notion into Wing’s head that Grant is probably planning to fire him. She has longed to return to show business anyway, but Wing is content with being at home and working in the furniture store. The thought that she put in his head has made him quite concerned. They, too, are in the process of renovating their home!

The other guests that the Perkins invited are Veronica Dunn-Dudet (Mona Lee Wylde) and Maurice Dudet (Martin Thompson). Veronica is an arrogant psychiatrist while Maurice was a successful engineer before he quit his job to write a novel. Their marriage is under a great deal of tension at this time because Veronica resents the fact that she is the sole bread-winner in the family now. Even so, under the circumstances they, too, are renovating their home!

The couples arrive at the Perkins home at the same time, and as the evening progresses, the dinner party becomes more and more hilarious as they clash with one another about their lives, and even their renovations. It becomes obvious that their lives need renovating as much as their homes. How each couple transforms by evening’s end is a big surprise.

Even though we first meet each couple in their own home, the play is performed on a single set, the living room that, miraculously, works for all three couples (set by Jeff G. Rack). This is one of Norm Foster’s newest comedies and the actors do it justice under the direction of Howard Storm. For an evening of laughter, you can’t miss with Renovations for Six.