(Martin Morrow’s article appeared in the Globe and Mail, 12/11.)
So when I learned that Soulpepper Theatre was remounting its much-praised holiday production of Parfumerie, the Hungarian play on which the Hollywood movie is based, I let out a Messiah-style hallelujah. I’d missed the show’s original 2009 staging, which The Globe’s J. Kelly Nestruck pronounced “a delightful holiday treat.”
Delightful it is, in many ways. First there’s the made-for-Soulpepper English adaptation by Adam Pettle and Brenda Robins. It reveals Miklos Laszlo’s 1937 play – set in a Budapest gift shop during the Christmas season – to be richer and funnier than the Lubitsch film. That may be due partly to director Morris Panych’s approach, which combines the legendary gentle “Lubitsch touch” with the rude vitality and slapstick of another great Hollywood comedy director from the period, Preston Sturges.