reviewed by Paula Citron
The Right Road to Pontypool
4th Line Theatre
Written by Alex Poch-Goldin
Directed by Kim Blackwell
Starring Elly-Ray Hennessy, Allan Price, Dov Mickelson, Peter Pasyk and Caitlin Driscoll
At the 4th Line Theatre until Aug. 1
The charming outdoor 4th Line Theatre is dedicated to original plays about the Kawarthas. Alex Poch-Goldin’s compelling The Right Road to Pontypool chronologues six decades of Toronto working class Jews who made Pontypool their vacation spot.
The delightful Elly-Ray Hennessy and Alan Price portray adult versions of two cousins born into Jewish resort families in Pontypool, while Dov Mickelson is their feisty settler grandfather. The huge cast is made up of talented amateurs with theatre graduate Caitlin Driscoll as Hennessy’s younger self being a stand-out.
Director Kim Blackwell has cleverly used the farm’s outbuildings and fields as her playing venue. In fact, the very first scene features a horse and buggy bringing the first Jewish settler and future hotelier to Pontypool. Justin Hiscox’s original Jewish-flavoured music and Anne Redish’s period costumes are wonderful.
The ambitious play is funny and poignant by turn and should not be missed.
The Right Road to Pontypool continues at the 4th Line Theatre near Milbrook, Ontario until Aug. 1.