BLT’s Birthday Suite provides comic treat

Published 1:34 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2012

LIZ (AMY WELLS) WARMS UP DICK (SAM HIGDON), who has been shown to the wrong hotel room.

Mix-ups create mayhem and merriment in the Bainbridge Little Theatre’s next production, Birthday Suite, which opens Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Troupe Street theater.

The play, written by British playwright Robin Hawdon, follows the typical farcical plot of mix-ups, mistaken identities and general confusion — all resulting in an evening of laughter and entertainment for the audience.

The comedy is set in adjoining hotel bedrooms. A friend has arranged a special birthday treat for his stick-in-the-mud friend, Bob (played by Richard Whitehead), whose marriage is on the rocks. The “treat” is a hotel room for the night, complete with champagne and a woman named Liz (Amy Wells), who happens to be late.

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Meanwhile, Kate (Brittany Morrow) anxiously awaits her computer-agency-arranged date for the evening — Dick (Sam Higdon), a psychiatrist who has been shown to the wrong room by Tony (Thad Nifong), a temperamental Italian waiter.

KATE (BRITTANY MORROW) COOLS OFF BOB (RICHARD WHITEHEAD), who has also been in the wrong room.

You are left to imagine the innuendo and confusion that occurs in both rooms as a result of Tony’s mistake.

British playwright Hawdon is a novelist, who has been a soap opera actor, film star, classic Shakespearean actor and director. Besides Birthday Suite, his plays include The Mating Game, Don’t Dress for Dinner, and A Night in Provence.

The local cast is directed by Pam Barnes, who has worked in theatre since childhood. She began with BLT in 1996 playing the role of Mazeppa in Gypsy, and went on to play Suzanne several times in Dearly Departed, winning the best actress award for that role at the Georgia Theatre Conference in 1996. Most recently she appeared as Elsa in BLT’s production of The Sound of Music.

Barnes left Bainbridge in 1998 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in theatre and speech under the professional direction of the Gainesville Theatre Alliance. At that time she received two more “best acting” awards and worked professionally with many Atlanta-area theatres as an actor, custume and wig designer.

KATE (BRITTANY MORROW) COOLS OFF BOB (RICHARD WHITEHEAD), who has also been in the wrong room.

Since moving back to Bainbridge last year to work at Bainbridge College as the Adult Learning and Retention Specialist, she has renewed her affiliation with Bainbridge Little Theatre, appearing in The Sound of Music, and serving as vice-chairman of the board of directors. She is also currently pursuing a master’s degree in adult learning at Valdosta State University.

The show runs two weekends, Feb. 24-26 and March 2-4, with Friday and Saturday curtain times at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.

For tickets and reservation information, call (229) 246-8345 Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., or email