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posted: 9/26/2017 12:09 PM

He done them wrong Village Theatre Guild presents 'Communicating Doors'

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  • Jack Smith of Bloomingdale rehearses a scene with Tina Shelley of Brookfield and Rachelle Kates of Naperville in preparation for the Village Theatre Guild of Glen Ellyn production of "Communicating Doors."

    Jack Smith of Bloomingdale rehearses a scene with Tina Shelley of Brookfield and Rachelle Kates of Naperville in preparation for the Village Theatre Guild of Glen Ellyn production of "Communicating Doors."
    Courtesy of Kevin Taylor

 
By Lee McFadden
Village Theatre Guild

For three wronged women, rolling back the clock becomes a matter of life and death in the Village Theatre Guild's production of Alan Ayckbourn's comedy "Communicating Doors."

The time-traveling murder mystery opens Oct. 20 and runs four weekends through Nov. 11 at the guild's century-old playhouse in Glen Ellyn.

"When I first saw this play several years ago," Director Lisa Dolnics of Naperville said, "I was fascinated by the ingenious story line and also by the staging (it was performed in a hotel hospitality suite). While somewhat complex, I thought, 'If they can do this in a hotel room, we can definitely do it at VTG.'"

So Lisa called on her producer (husband Dave Dolnics) to turn the guild's intimate stage into a posh suite in the Regal Hotel with a unique door that serves as a time machine.

The story revolves around the not-so-ladylike Poopay (played by Lisa Dawn Curran of Lisle), who finds that Reece, a dying tycoon who hired her for the evening (Rich Kropp of Glen Ellyn), wants nothing more than for her to witness a confession relating to the murder of both his wives.

She attempts to leave with the confession, but the old man's unscrupulous business associate Julian (Jack Smith of Bloomingdale) tries to kill her.

Poopay's escape, rather than through a "door," takes her back 20 years to a face-to-face meeting with Reese's second wife Ruella (Tina Shelley of Brookfield) who is about to be murdered.

Not believing Poopay's dire warning, Ruella tries going through the "communicating" door and finds herself in the same room 20 years earlier, witnessing the honeymoon of Reese with his first wife Jessica (Rachelle Kates of Naperville).

Jessica calls hotel security, and Harold (Ken Kaden of Naperville) responds. From there, the action becomes frenetic as Poopay and the two wives travel back and forth, two decades at a time, determined to escape the murderous Julian and their predicted fates.

"I want the audience to look at these incredibly strong women and realize their own hidden potential," Dolnics said. "But you have to immerse yourself in Alan Ayckbourn's fanciful, mind-bending plot to know whether (or how) destiny can be altered. That's the fun of it."

Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m. from Oct. 20 through Nov. 11, with matinees at 3 p.m. Oct. 29, Nov. 5 and Nov. 11. Tickets are $18.

The Village Theatre Guild is at 2S720 Park Blvd. in Glen Ellyn, near the northwest corner of Park Boulevard and Butterfield Road.

For reservations, call (630) 469-8230 or visit www.VillageTheatreGuild.org.

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