Weekend in Rio

Weekend In Rio is a comedy written by Steven Froelich (author of They Offered Bob and Wilma Cash, It Woulda Been Nice and Moscow to Havana). It is set aboard an aeroplane. Chester, played by an inflatable doll, has stolen money from his mum which he’s used to take his two girlfriends, Tina and Jen, away on a hastily arranged trip to Rio. Thinking they've got away with it they try to relax but unknown to them, his mum Sugar, is hot on their trail, determined to catch up with her no-good son and teach them all a lesson. There are two acts. In Act One, the plane is outward bound to Rio for the weekend. In Act Two, the plane is on its way back from Rio after the weekend. The interval is the Weekend in Rio. The novelty of the setting is that the audience is seated aboard the aircraft, with audience and actors as fellow passengers on a nightmare flight.

There was a seven day workshop at the Steppenwolf Studios in Chicago where Laurie Metcalfe played the lead role of Sugar and the following year Tambar previewed Weekend In Rio at the Theatre Royal Plymouth prior to a production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2001. It received some outstanding reviews:

“Writer Steven Froelich has created an irresistible monster of situational humour… where every line keeps the laughter soaring higher”. (The Stage 16 August 2001)

“Steven Froelich has written a hugely entertaining comedy in Weekend In Rio… The break neck speed of the script is impressive and the humour is subtle… Weekend In Rio is brilliantly acted and hugely entertaining throughout”. (Sunday Herald 26 August 2001)

Even more gratifying, Ellen Ratner, who played Sugar, and Courtney Shaughnessy who played Tina, both received nominations for best actress, the first time in many years that the short list of five (chosen from the thousands of actresses appearing in more than fifteen hundred productions at the Festival) included two actresses from the same play.