The press folks are calling it "`Psycho' meets `Back to the Future'," which isn't a bad way of describing Communicating Doors, Alan Ayckbourn's comedy-thriller, now receiving a regional staging at Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre. Previews began Oct. 22 for the show, which opens Oct. 28 and runs through Nov. 21. Mary Louise Parker and, later, Anne Bobby starred in the 1998 off Broadway mounting of the play, which takes place in one hotel room during three different time periods, 1974, 1994 and 2014. The title refers to the fact that walking through the room's doors facilitates the change from one era to another.
The gimmick turns into a lifesaver for Poopay (Alexandra Boyd), a prostitute hired by an old man and his evil servant who plan to murder her after the evening's entertainment. She escapes to two previous eras, only to find two other women threatened by the duo.
Co-starring in the show are Deena Burke, Kevin Donovan, Nike Doukas, J. Michael Flynn and David Pichette. Jeff Steitzer, an ACT veteran, directs Communicating Doors, which features sets by Scott Weldin, lighting by Frances Aronson, sound by Dominic Kramers and costumes by Carolyn Keim. Other Ayckbourn plays include The Norman Conquests, Woman In Mind, Absurd Person Singular, Henceforward, Bedroom Farce and A Small Family Business. Communicating Doors won the 1996 Writers Guild Award for Best West End Play and a 1997 Best Comedy "Moliere Award" in Paris.
Tickets ($19-$40) for Communicating Doors at Seattle's ACT, located at Kreielsheimer Place (Union Street) call (206) 292-7676.
--By David Lefkowitz