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‘Communicating Doors’ Is Zany, Horrifying, Touching

on September 14, 2017 - 2:39pm
The three heroines try to explain things to a dubious Harold. Photo by Larry Gibbons
Poopay (Trisha Werner) fends off the murderous Julian (Ian Foti-Landis). Photo by Larry Gibbons


Los Alamos Daily Post

Great comic acting makes it all work in Los Alamos Little Theatre’s production of “Communicating Doors”.

The 1994 play by Alan Ayckbourn takes three women, separated in time by 20 years, on a time traveling adventure in murder and mishap.

The action starts in the present with Poopay (Trisha Werner), a dominatrix, is called in to witness a  confession by a corrupt businessman, Reece (Patrick Webb) about the murder of his two wives.

She escapes from the truly terrible (and murderous) Julian (Ian Foti-Landis), Reece’s partner who actually carried out the murders, through the communicating door of a posh hotel suite.

Poopay time travels back 20 years where she meets the tycoon’s second wife, Ruella (Linda Taylor), whom she attempts to warn of her upcoming demise. Ruella ends up going back another 20 years to warn the first murdered wife,  Jessica (Alex L’Esperance).

If this sounds complicated, it is. Throw in wild slapstick and derry-doing on the part of the three women and things could have gone over the top. Instead, first-time director Holly Robinson manages the whole thing deftly.

The women, of three different generations, form a team that manages to touch us as well as make us laugh. The bond they form is truly felt and their resourcefulness has us rooting for them all the way.

Poopay gets the most stage time and Werner is great in this pivital role, both wacky and warm and fuzzy.

Taylor also is simply marvelous as Ruella, who could have been a middle-aged sterotype and instead is a no-nonsense hero. She’s utterly herself and totally believable.

L’Esperance does a good job with the posh and slightly dim Jessica. She’s another character we could have dismissed, but instead come to love because of L’Esperance’s performance.

Webb is a convincing old codger. He has to change from a 20-something into a 70-something over the course of the play and manages to make Reece human, if not likeable. Hey wait, he even makes him likeable at the play’s end.

Pete Sandford has a lot of fun as Harold, the befuddled house detective. He steals the scene more than once.
Ian Foti-Landis also is having a great time as the villainous Julian. The audience will love to hate him.

For me, the best thing about this play is the three unlikely heroines. It made me believe that there is absolutely nothing three really determined women can’t do.

The Los Alamos Little Theatre presents “Communicating Doors,” at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 23 and at 2 p.m. Sunday Sept. 17. General admission is $14 and seniors and students will be admitted for $12. For more information, visit