This show review by Gary Smith was originally published in The Hamilton Spectator on May 24th.
There is a wonderful moment early in the second act of Kristen Da Silva’s comedy “Sugar Road.”
A country and western singer has just sung a sweet song to the woman he knows he loves more than the screaming fans who crowd the edge of his stage.
Suddenly, a string of stars twinkles in the evening sky and a full and luminous moon winks down on the oh so romantic scene. And that’s it, the precise moment when all the hilarious nonsense going on in Da Silva’s seductive comedy gives way to what we suspected all along.
Handsome Jesse Emberly, the sort of guy who writes romantic hurtin’ songs, has fallen for Hannah Taylor, the Sugar Road Amusement Park owner who remains tethered to a tragic love affair that haunts her past.
Not her own past, you understand. It’s the past of her mother, who, like Hannah, fell for a restless cowboy singer, not unlike poetic Jesse and was burned by the sting of regret.
This is the aha moment, the nanosecond when we know for sure, what we’ve suspected all along. Hannah and Jesse ought to belong to one another. And so, here we are rooting for these frightened, star-crossed lovers, who are frightened to find a path of compromise and trust that will allow them to walk together into a touching golden sunset at the end of Da Silva’s delightful comedy.
Certainly, Hannah and Jesse, as imagined by playwright Da Silva are warm and vulnerable human beings. More importantly perhaps, they’re played with sensitivity and charm by Elana Post and Jeffrey Wetsch that radiates across the multihued amusement park setting of designer William Chesney. Each of these actors helps to create an oasis of sanity in a comedy that often explodes quite frenetically, shaking the rafters of The Lighthouse Festival Theatre with laughter.