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by Tony Roma
posted 12/01/2018

A Bad Year For Tomatoes @ The Guild Theatre

This near farcical comedy was written in the 70s by the prolific playwright John Patrick aka John Patrick Goggin, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Tony Award for best play, several Writers Guild Awards and New York Drama Critics’ Awards. Possibly Patrick is best known for his play The Hasty Heart, a 1945 play, based on the author’s own war time experiences and filmed in 1949 with Ronald Reagan in the lead. He also wrote screenplays for famous films such as the screenplay for High Society, Teahouse of the August Moon, Love is a Many Splendid Thing and Les Girls. In his lifetime Patrick wrote more than 40 plays, screenplays and novels. 

Many of Patrick’s works were comedies and A Bad Year for Tomatoes is one of his funniest. 

Set in a small town in New England where everybody knows everybody and their business, the play revolves around a famous actress, Myra Marlowe,  who has hidden herself away to rest from a busy filming schedule, grow some Tomatoes and write her autobiography. Having got rid of her agent with some difficulty, she thinks she can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of her anonymity. No such luck. Neighbours call in with a ‘welcome basket’ of food and to sticky beak on their new resident. And they keep calling in and calling in!

This is not the peace and quiet Myra hoped for. What to do? Of course- invent a mad homicidalsister who lives upstairs in a locked room and escapes occasionally to scare the nosy neighbours away. Only an actress would come up with such wacky solution and only an actress could carry it off by playing the mad sister Sadie to perfection. 

Crazy is not just Hollywood!! 

The unlikely trick goes quite well until the local handymen starts to fancy Sadie and the local sticky beaks decide to save her, so Myra decides to dispense with her ‘sister’, telling neighbours Sadie has gone away to Boston. All’s fine as far as that goes but it doesn’t go far enough! The local sheriff is suspicious. Perhaps Myra murdered her mad sister. Complications continue with hilarious results until a final resolution that will have you laughing till the very end. This family friendly comedy was revived very successfully in 2016 in San Francisco- it was a sell out and so will the Guild’s production so book your seats now. 

What: A Bad Year For Tomatoes

Where: The Guild Theatre Rockdale

When: February 9 to March 10 / Wednesday, Friday & Saturday nights at 8 / Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2

To Find Out More & To Book Online Click Here

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