The Man Who Came to Dinner: Review

Alastair Pitts puts on a spectacular performance as Sheridan Whiteside.

I am not much of a theater enthusiast– I have only ever seen school plays/musicals and therefore I cannot possibly claim to be an expert on the subject, in any way, shape or form. However, even the most ordinary individuals know a good thing when it smacks them in the face. So, while I can’t speak with any credentials, I will say with certainty that Saints Players Theatres’ The Man Who Came to Dinner was superb.

For those who didn’t get a chance to catch the production, The Man Who Came to Dinner is the story of unabashedly daring and wonderfully eccentric radio man Sheridan Whiteside who, after injuring his hip, recuperates in the home of Mr. Ernest Stanley. The play follows Whiteside in his “rude charm” as he interacts with a host of characters from his verbally abused nurse to the world’s shrillest lady, Harriet Stanley, to the obnoxious Banjo (a tribute to Harpo Marx).

The titular Whiteside is played by St. George’s School grad Alastair Pitts, who was utterly spellbinding as the loud egomaniac– with his masterful mannerisms and undying commitment to Whiteside’s “presence”, Pitt’s performance was undeniably, the heart and the soul of the production. Of course, such a standout performance only welcomes others of a similarly high caliber– Marc Levin as Banjo was an energy-filled delight and Alex McFetridge roared with a humorous rage from the beginning to the end as the utterly frustrated (and rightfully so) Mr. Stanley. The cast interacts seamlessly, combining the mechanically flawless precision of clockwork with a spirited and infectious vigour. Those who attended the play’s final showing were also treated to a cameo performance by Headmaster Dr. Matthews himself.

From a grateful viewer to all of those who were involved in making this play a reality– cast, crew, teachers, volunteers, parents– congratulations on a truly excellent show of sheer passion and professionalism. A project of such grand proportions is inevitably the result of countless hours of work and a commendable dedication to the stage. I was thoroughly impressed and entertained and I trust that I was not alone. Bravo!