Sure bet

It’s a fight to the finish in NH premiere of ‘Ripchord’

Union Leader Correspondent
February 14. 2018 12:42PM
Peterborough Players’ artistic director Gus Kaikkonen, far left, shares a laugh with the cast of “Ripcord,” including Will Howell, Bridget Beirne, Tyler Richardson, Lisa Bostnar, Kathy Manfre and Cory Buffaloe. At the recent 16th New Hampshire Theatre Awards ceremony, Kaikkonen won directing honors for two professional productions in 2017, “The Doctor’s Dilemma” and “The Producers.” (MEGHAN PIERCE/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)
If you go...
WHAT: 'Ripcord'

WHEN: 7:30 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays, with 2 p.m. shows Saturdays and Sundays

WHERE: Peterborough Players, 55 Hadley Road, Peterborough

INFO: 924-7585;

Gathered around a table last week, the cast and director of the New Hampshire premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Ripcord” are talking about how much fun it’s been to mount a story about feuding roommates in a senior living facility.

“We’ve had trouble getting through the script,” says actress Kathy Manfre about the laughs throughout two fast-paced, 45-minute acts.

“There’s really not a slow moment in the play,” adds actress Lisa Bostnar.

At the same time, the play is poignant, revealing deeper truths about the characters along the way.

“Definitely it has depth,” says the show’s director Gus Kaikkonen.

“It feels like an episode of the Golden Girls — if the Golden Girls aired on HBO,” actor Cory Buffaloe says. “It’s a classic sitcom setup with more edge and weight to it that you get on a network.”

Closing out the Peterborough Player’s winter season, “Ripcord,” which is rated PG-13, opens today and will run through Feb. 25 at the Hadley Road theater.

The comedy is the perfect antidote for those with mid-February cabin fever, the cast said.

“Ripcord” is set in the fictitious Bristol Place Senior Living Facility, where the bubbly Marilyn, played by Manfre, arrives and is assigned to share a room with the cantankerous Abby, played by Bostnar.

“My character is a very nice and sweet and happ- go-lucky person. (She’s) gregarious, and new to the retirement home and new to her room,” Manfre says. “So we become roommates.”

Abby, though, doesn’t want Marilyn as a roommate and is determined to oust her. It leads to a bet between the two women that turns into an escalating game of one-upmanship.

“It’s ‘The Odd Couple-ish’ in a sense, and they become very diabolic, the two of them, in their effort to expel one of the people from the room,” Manfre says. “It’s a fight almost to the death. But it’s fun, it’s so much fun.”

Kaikkonen, Peterborough Players’ artistic director, saw the play when it first opened in New York in 2015, and knew it was the perfect comedy for the Players. He had veteran Players’ actresses Bostnar and Manfre in mind from the start.

“As I was watching it, I was thinking we have got to do this in Peterborough because these two women are so perfect for these two parts,” Kaikkonen says. “I could just feel the chemistry.

“I’m really excited to do the show,” he says. “This show has everything.”

The cast is rounded out by Bridget Beirne, Will Howell and Tyler Richardson.

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