By Ron VandenBoom
A disgruntled husband and wife are desperately searching their hotel suite to find two lost tickets to tennis matches at Wimbledon.
It's not a format one would normally associate with great comedy, but if the husband's back goes out and a bumbling, idiot doctor shows up, it might be - right?
No, still not enough?
Well what if the hotel manager has rented the suite to actor Kevin Costner and Costner is upset that he can't have his suite?
Well, even if it doesn't sound like enough, rest assured that the plot will thicken and the laughs abound when the talented thespians of the Montana Actor's Theatre (MAT) and the comedic genius of playwright Neal Simon, combine to present area audiences with "London Suite" - the most recent of Simon's Suite Series of plays.
The curtain will rise on this comedic pageant at 8 p.m. on Feb. 1, 2, 3, and again on Feb. 8, 9, 10, in the Cowan Hall Little Theater on the campus of MSU-Northern.
Tickets for "London Suite" will be $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and will only be available at the door.
"London Suite" is, in fact, a series of four plays that have nothing in common with one another except that they all take place in the same suite, said Grant Olson, who is directing his first play for MAT.
"They're all comedies and there is some physical comedy, but there is also some social commentary," he said.
The first scene deals with a writer who is confronting his accountant for the first time after learning he has absconded with all his money, Olson said. The second scene examines the relationship of a mother and daughter when six years after the death of her husband, the mother decides to go on a date.
Third in the series is a scene involving an actress that is reunited with her ex-husband and his ill partner and the fourth is the scene about the lost Wimbledon tickets.
Olson said auditions for "London Suite" were held in November and a great deal of new talent showed up to try out. That means half of the 12 actors will be new to the MAT stage.
"We're really excited about that," Olson said.
This will be the first time MAT has performed in the university's Little Theater and Olson said it fits in well with MAT's goals.
"We've been looking for different venues to do our shows," Olson said.
Past venues have included the Havre High School auditorium and a dinner theater performed in the Olympic Room of the Duck Inn in Havre and the Chinook Motor Inn in Chinook.
Olson said Alex Capdeville, chancellor of MSU-Northern approached MAT some time ago about bringing their talents to the campus and working with Mark Seiffert, Northern's theater manager and technical director, MAT was able to make it a reality.
The 140-seat theater is considerably smaller than the Havre High venue MAT has used in the past, but Olson said he likes the smaller theater because "it's really intimate and nice for a small show like this."
"You're right with the audience," he said. "It's different than being in a theater that seats 800."
Limited seating and no advance ticket sales means it's important to show up early to get the best seats.
Olson also warns that there is some adult language in the play and parental guidance should be used when considering whether children should attend.