By Daniel Skora
The office. For those who happen to work in one, it’s the place where you spend most of your waking hours. It’s a home away from home, occupied by people who sometimes seem more of a family than the one left behind at the beginning of the day.
Tipping Point Theatre is presenting “Office Hours”, a series of six vignettes dealing with over a dozen characters working in or having business to do with companies that have set up shop in office buildings. The vignettes offer up an eclectic bunch of characters, and if you get the feeling early on that much of the business that goes on in these offices is of the monkey-ing kind, you’re right.
A television news reporter who thinks he’s doing a bang up job is about to be confronted by his boss who happens to think otherwise. A once much-in-demand movie director, fueled by an alcohol overload, pitches his latest film project that sounds an awful lot like an old Tarzan movie. The wife of a high-powered agent suspects her husband of having an affair after some photos surface that place him inside a car that has footprints on the inside of the vehicle’s fogged-up windows.
A jockey who has come to expect job security must now be told his services are no longer wanted because he’s gotten so overweight that the last horse he’d ridden collapsed on the track and died. A lawyer who has yet to announce his coming out of the closet is visited for lunch by his inquisitive mother. And last but certainly not least, a psychiatrist who has not been with a man for over a year has become professionally embarrassed because one of her patients is standing on the ledge outside her office threatening to jump.
“Office Hours” is from the pen of Norm Foster, that most prolific of Canadian playwrights with over fifty plays to his credit. Here he’s managed to create not only six very funny individual sketches, but has succeeded in interconnecting them using several overlapping situations and having some characters appear in several of the vignettes.
All of the characters are played by a cast of five multi-talented actors. Longtime local favorites Wayne David Parker, Terry Heck, and Ryan Carlson turn in their usual fine performances, here given the opportunity to play characters both funny and straight. Sarah Hawkins Moan, making her Tipping Point debut, has an extensive local and out-of-state résumé and does an excellent job with three of the show’s most colorful characters. Kyle Mitchell Johnson, also making his Tipping Point debut, contributes with four of the show’s less outrageous characters.
“Office Hours” is an entertaining show that goes easy on the brain even while providing strong comedic situations. Beth Torrey directs, while the set, a modern-looking office whose furniture gets rearranged to provide a unique look for each of the six vignettes, is designed by Bartley H. Bauer. Costumes are by Katherine Nelson, lighting by Rita Girardi, sound by Quintessa Gallinat, and properties by Kellie Dugan. Stage manager is Tracy L. Spada, assisted by Gabriella S. Csapo.
“Office Hours” runs through December 23rd. Tickets are available online at www.tippingpointtheatre.com or by visiting or calling the theatre’s Box Office at 1.248.347.0003 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Mon. through Fri. or 90 minutes prior to all performances, based on availability. Tipping Point Theatre is located at 361 E. Cady Street in Northville.