Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Port Tobacco Player Hotbed Hotel

By • Apr 4th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to Lisa Kay’s review of Port Tobacco Player’s production of Hotbed Hotel [MP3 3:39 1.7MB].

Hotbed Hotel
Port Tobacco Players
Port Tobacco Theater, La Plata, MD
$15/$12 Seniors and Students
Through April 20th

Hotbed Hotel revolves around a married couple Teri & Brian, who are desperate to have a prospective investor buy their rundown, one-star Florida hotel. Teri, played by Lynne O’Meara, and her staff pose as guests in an effort to create a false impression of popularity and make the hotel look like a profitable investment.

Photo Credit: Lionel Miller

The set for Hotbed Hotel is amazing-from live fish, to an amazing décor and construction detail. Hard to believe it is simply a one-star hotel. The production has a slow start and doesn’t really engage the audience until the hapless hotel owner, Brian Cody (charmingly portrayed by Doug Graupman) tries to change a light bulb. The cast of characters all have multiple agenda and issues that make the production one that successfully builds to it’s surprise conclusion. Hotbed Hotel engages in a plethora of risqué-type humor. Much of this is done successfully, such as in the scene in which Mr. Lewis becomes a surprised member of a pajama party which he never planned, and by Act Two the energy level increases dramatically- or should I say, ‘comedically.’

Among the array of characters is an eccentric retired British officer Major Ponsenby (charismatically portrayed by Darren Longley) a wealthy Arab Sheik, Abdul Alhaj, who may or may not turn out to be the major’s long-lost twin brother (also delightfully delivered by the talented Mr. Longley) and a high society nymphomaniac dubbed “the Barracuda” (the very believable and beautiful Susan Campbell). The task of keeping the ‘Barracuda’ away from the very married Sam Lewis (stuffy & fussy Keith Linville) and his ‘wife’, Ashley (The beautiful Katherine M. Reilly) proves all but impossible. Having each character thrown together in this melee provides a lethal dose of comedy that has the audience laughing throughout most of the play. In one scene, three men – all in pursuit of the Barracuda – end up instead in bed with each other.

There are some wonderful ensemble moments between many of the talented cast members. Exceptional performances were rendered by the hotel handy man ‘Hopkins’ played brilliantly by Joe Bowes and the maid Maureen portrayed by the delightfully dim Amanda Lozano.

Although there are many entertaining moments in which we see most of the cast in various states of undress as circumstances pull them in and out of various beds, absolutely nothing holds a candle to the visual assault of seeing Dorothy Lewis (Dee Bayles) in her girdle and Iron Maiden.

Neither the script nor this production deliver as masterpiece theater but Hotbed Hotel has the fundamental ingredients of good entertainment that provide charming comedic results that is well worth the cost of admission.

Producer Karyn Peterson and Director Michael Gahan (with Sarah Carlson) present Hotbed Hotel April 4 through April 20 at the Port Tobacco Players Theater in LaPlata, MD.

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works nationally and internationally as an opera singer, coach, teacher, conductor and stage director. She is the CEO of Saltnote Stageworks, a non-profit corporation that promotes education & performance opportunities for emerging artists.

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