Best Show with a Gimmick Houston 2002 - House and Garden
The gimmick behind Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden is irresistible. And no place in town was better suited to capitalize on this cleverness than the Alley Theatre. House and Garden is billed as two plays. Each focuses on a different set of characters, but all the characters from one show appear in the other. To complicate matters further, both plays run simultaneously. The actors must have gotten quite a workout running up and down the backstage stairs. On the Main Stage we got to see all the hullabaloo in Teddy Platt's drawing room. Meanwhile, downstairs in the Neuhaus Theatre, lots of lovemaking took place in Teddy's garden. Once you saw one story, you had to see the other. You just had to find out about the strange ménage à trois going on with the servants. And life wouldn't be complete if you couldn't find out why Teddy's beautiful wife wouldn't speak to him. The twin plays were like exquisitely written soap operas: The first one you saw hooked you into seeing the other.