I don’t usually drink coffee in the evenings, but with friends on the stage, I will 100% go for a refill. Lighthouse Arthouse Toronto welcomed me on the opening night of the show ‘FRIEND (the one with Gunther)’, and from the moment I had a glimpse of the stage, I felt like I was wrapped in my blanket and ready to start a marathon of binge-watching one of my favourite television classics.
One man, seventy minutes, ten seasons. Welcome back to Central Perk cafe with the iconic orange sofa, where we have witnessed the lives of Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe in one of the most successful sitcoms of all time – FRIENDS. They have never left their beloved cafe spot on TV screens and dealt with personal drama and professional careers with a huge amount of caffeine. That may be why Barista Gunther is the perfect guide through the entire 236 episodes of FRIENDS.
‘FRIEND (the one with Gunther)’ is a one-man show written and performed by comic actor Brendan Murphy and directed by Hamish MacDougall. Be ready to meet your FRIENDS, their boyfriends and girlfriends, and catch all the references to the show or easter eggs on the stage. There will be moments when you laugh uncontrollably, but also moments that only bring a light smile because some of the plot points are not just that hilariously funny. The show’s comic side was always how the main characters reacted to things happening to them.
Coming back to Gunther, you will have to open your mind and try to envision Brendan Murphy as a Dutch barista because he is not Gunther as you remember him, and this is the first time he is getting so much spotlight in any show ever written. So somehow, you are also getting to know (on a deeper level) the new main character of the show, which can take your mind away from the main reason why you came in the first place – to meet FRIENDS again.
Apart from memorable impressions of characters, you can be excited about incredible audience interactions, a high-paced but cozy atmosphere with strings of guitar and parody singing, and lots of energy with a massive amount of talent pouring from every inch of Brendan Murphy’s body.
‘FRIEND (the one with Gunther)’ should be a part of your bucket list if you are trying to fit all ten seasons of FRIENDS until the end of 2023 and relive the nostalgia of your favourite show. Head to Lighthouse Immersive and give a chance to Gunther, who will try his best to convince you what it means to be a true friend, even overlooked for a decade.
If you want to taste a different side of the magical humour of Brendan Murphy and are thirsty to visit a world with vampires, vampire slayers, and some proper ’90s high school drama, be sure to check out his second show at Lighthouse Immersive – Buffy Revamped.
Author: Maria Rostecka, Content Specialist for The Onside Media, Canada. She is based in Toronto, Ontario. If you have any stories to share, please feel free to reach out: email@example.com