Wendy Waddell (left) and Kate Rose Reynolds in "Communicating Doors." Photo courtesy of Scripps Ranch Theatre
Door No. 3 is the one to keep an eye on in Scripps Ranch Theatre’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Communicating Doors. Though its very presence in the story is infuriatingly never explained, this door is a portal back and forth in time through which three women travel: a dominatrix (Kate Rose Reynolds) and the wives (Wendy Waddell and Sibongile Ngako) of an unscrupulous businessman (Charles Peters). If this all sounds quite confusing, imagine how the characters feel transporting from one era to another. Confused though they may be, they’re also sharp enough to figure out a couple of murder plots (which, if allowed to play out, would prove fatal to them).
Unfortunately, Communicating Doors doesn’t stop there. Besides being a genuinely creepy suspense tale, it also tries to be a comedy, sometimes of the sheer slapstick variety. In so doing, the play, though gamely performed, never definitively establishes what it wants to be.
(Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 9/12/18.)
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.