What happens when you cast two incredible actors in a wonderfully written play? You get a show that reaches off the stage and pulls you right in with them. Equal turns witty, sharp, touching and downright funny, First Name Basis delivers everything you can expect from a night at the theatre anywhere, and then a little bit more. Teal and Bill are both wonderfully talented, and both have the ability to draw you right in to the characters they inhabit. Together they make sparks fly, wringing the most out of every moment. I was in the audience for opening night, and in my opinion, this is the Muskoka Must-See event of the summer.
Brenda Patterson - Facebook Post
Saw the show last night and am still smiling. It was outstanding and much better than several expensive shows I've been to in the GTA. Looking forward to the next series.
My friend Wendy and I really enjoyed, On a First Name Basis! It was a wonderfully acted, adeptlly directed, feel good, yet thought provoking comedy. It's good to see this caliber of work hitting Muskoka stages!
" I just wanted to extend a sincere thanks on behalf of our Club members for the opportunity this afternoon to "preview" an AMAZING performance. So much laughter and fun, along with some solemn moments making this a terrific play which we will highly recommend around the community! Well Done!"
"This play was very good and very funny. My wife and I had a great time and glad we went."
"Attended opening night of 'On A First Name Basis' tour. Funny, real, and touching. Playwright, Norm Foster at his best. The superb actors were perfectly cast and never missed a beat. Great chemistry between the two. Excellent direction and production.Kudos to all! This is one tour you won't want to miss! ps. Also appreciated the setting at Highlander Brewery, and the good beer!"
"I attended opening night at the Highlander Brewing Company last night. SOOOO good! Do yourself a favour and get out to enjoy this most entertaining play; play only or dinner theatre package. You'll be glad you did. Superb acting. Well done, Jan and company."
The show is wonderful. Very funny . Well worth the price of admission.
Norm Foster: Canadian Treasure
I had the pleasure of seeing my first Norm Foster play last Friday in Bracebridge, Ontario. After reading some background info on the playwright, I must confess that I am a bit embarrassed that this was my first Norm Foster play experience. Such a popular Canadian playwright needs to be celebrated and apparently has been over and over again! How did I miss this?
The play was under the able direction of Ms. Joan Bendon and featured two very excellent actors, Bill Colgate and Teal Cochrane.
So clever was the repartee between the two that I was somewhat reminded of Oscar Wilde’s style (another favourite of mine). In comedy, timing is everything and kudos to the actors, and no doubt especially to Ms. Bendon for maintaining tight discipline to ensure that lines were delivered crisply, accurately and timed exactly to produce the laughs, which, as a result of this respect for tightness and delivery were very frequent throughout!
But this play is much more than a comedy, excellent as it is in that department. It seems you, like Molière and many others before you, understand that a veneer of comedy is often needed as a mask so that darker truths and aspects of our common humanity may unfold slowly and surreptitiously as the play progresses.
After the performance, I was with Bill and Joan and other friends, and our post-performance discussion clearly revealed that this play touched us all in various ways. This is very much a play about the conflicting human need to conceal our dark sides, while also simultaneously craving to somehow reveal all to someone under the right circumstances. Bluster and disarming wit are but two techniques evident in your play, enlivening the thrust & parry between the two main characters. The gradual unraveling of those hidden, darker issues, coupled with the sudden reveal of “Man #2” (I had not guessed!) made for a powerful climax to the story.
Thanks again for an enjoyable evening. Add one more Norm Foster fan to your roster!
November 2017 Muskoka/Parry Sound Tour
"The Midland Cultural Centre, which features over 300 events annually, recently had the distinct pleasure of presenting Dot The T Productions excellent "Billy Bishop Goes to War". The show was riveting! To call it a success would be a great understatement. The Midland audience is very discerning - and the standing ovation enjoyed by the talented and on-point cast said it all. A huge well-done to all concerned. Truly a show worthy of the ticket-price. I would highly recommend this show - great team, tremendous cast, and a totalling engaging performance all around."
"Hi Jan. It’s been over one week now since your production touched our community and the chatter has not stopped since that evening. Aside from many short, casual comments from folks who were in attendance, their praise for the very high quality of the actors and the producer does not fade. In particular, one of our congregation, a seasoned supporter of the arts and theater in particular, expressed her intense feeling about actually experiencing Billy Bishop right on stage in front of her. She was most taken by this performance. Another of our congregation has seen Billy Bishop productions 6 times and couldn’t say enough about the ‘best quality’ he’s ever seen. Another resident in our village area is also a well seasoned supporter with theater and was so taken by this that she offered a table and some belongings to the Dot The T Productions for any further productions. But, the most important reaction has come from one of our community. He’s just approaching 95 years and a vet of the conflicts of our past. He’s so emotional about any of the annual celebrations regarding vets and the war years that he simply can’t get himself to attend things like Remembrance Day services. However, because I had the opportunity to sneak into several rehearsals on the play, I knew he would appreciate the fine work involved. We were eventually lucky to get him to attend and he hasn’t stopped talking since. He actually re-played the shooting parts of the play as he remembered how he was involved and the joy he expressed in being able to see the play is most remarkable.
All of us were really taken by the entire production and the wonderful contact we had with your team. Please find the moment to share our delight with all involved ~ it’s not a one person show and all are worthy of the highest praise. Our best to all,"
“Amazing show, thank you! We loved it!”
“As one not easily impressed, I was rendered spellbound”
"What a privilege to see Dot the T’s production of Billy Bishop Goes to War. The intimate setting of Bethune United Church provided the perfect backdrop for the telling of the amazing story of our favourite war hero. William ( Bill) Colgate , was absolute perfection as young and old Bishop. He also expertly became the amusing and poignant assortment of other characters that the play demanded.
Cameron Gibson at the piano, in army uniform, provided a stark reminder of how very young our Canadian recruits were as they enlisted for and entered the war, many never to return home. Lending his exceptional talents on the keyboard and a rich baritone voice, the “ piano player” entered and exited the flow of the storytelly seamlessly and the timing of the two actors was flawless.
Thank you Dot the T Productions for bringing professional theatre of this calibre to our local MUSKOKA communities. We are indebted and thrilled.
A STUNNING PERFORMANCE !
Can’t wait for your next production."
“Honestly, Dot the T’s production of ‘Billy Bishop Goes to War’ was the finest piece of theatre I have ever seen, bar none. Bill Colgate’s portrayal of the Canadian flying ace transported us directly into the recruitment office, the barracks, the cockpit and finally the
aerial battle dances of the First World War. We left having spent an intimate evening, not with an actor, but with Billy Bishop himself. Truly, a tour de force “
"… a big thanks for such a tremendous evening. It was a pleasure to be there, to see William Colgate inhabit and bring Billy Bishop to life, not to mention the myriad other characters he conjured up during the show…to experience the play as a whole with all of the Joan Bendon’s (the director) deft attention to details of design, staging, and performance. You allowed us to bear witness to all that Billy Bishop experiences, to laugh with him and to hurt. I’ve done many things over my life to honour the Veterans of both WW I & II. Attending this show has been a high point."
" What a fabulous performance of Billy Bishop Goes to War tonight in Bala. "
Please excuse me for the shameless plug - not for me, but for Nancy
Gibson, or rather her extraordinarily talented youngest son, Cameron. He
stars alongside Bill Colgate in Billy Bishop Goes to War, coming to a
venue near you this summer. Do yourselves a favour, and go see this show.
You will laugh, you will cry, you will learn, but above all, you will be
awed by the incredible talent of these two performers. I could see this
show a hundred times, and still be bowled over by them. I know this sounds
a little over the top, but truly, believe me, I do not say this lightly.
As an actor and director, I know talent when I see it, And Cameron has it
in spades. You won't regret the time, I promise.