Blame it on Martinique, that intriguing tropical island where pina coladas flow like water and passions ignite.
SOAP’s upcoming production of The Long Weekend by Norm Foster may be set at a country retreat in Ontario’s cottage country, but all the ingredients for this juicy plot have been mixed like an heady cocktail in Martinique the year before.
Max and Wynn Truman invite their friends Roger and Abby Nash for a long summer weekend in Muskoka country. Trouble is, no one really likes each other. Best friends since highschool, Wynn and Abby still manage to grate on each other’s nerves. Therapist Wynn (Aimee Grice) constantly analyzes her best friend’s marriage. Clothing designer Abby (Penelope Johnson) makes scathing remarks about Abby’s lack of fashion sense.
Husbands Max and Roger loathe each other, although masking their mutual disdain with pet names (“Maxie!” “Rog!”) and jocular buddy-buddying. Lawyer Max (Tom Szalay) will never admit he secretly envies Roger’s bohemian lifestyle as a struggling playwright. Just as Roger (Craig Bjornsen) will never admit to envying Max’s posh country home.
While all this petty jealousy may sound hard to take, the clever contrast between private putdowns and public niceties is hilarious. Snide remarks resurface as over-the-top praise, just by changing the delivery of the phrase. Clever one-liners and recurring gags, along with some spicy scenes, will keep the audience in stitches.
And lapping away in the background like waves on a beach are the secrets from that island of Martinique, the location of the foursome’s previous holiday. Secrets from that vacation are slowly revealed during the course of the long weekend at the Truman country home. The last secret in this comedy is revealed only seconds before the final curtain, as cool and gratifying and sure-to-please as that final slurp of a tropical cocktail.
Above, the cast of The Long Weekend dons tacky tourist outfits and poses on the beach for what will be an onstage portrait , a souvenir of that mysterious Martinique holiday. Left to right: Craig Bjornson, Penelope Johnson, Tom Szalay, and Aimee Grice.
The Long Weekend runs October 18 – 20 at The Cannery Stage in Penticton, and October 26 – 27 at OSS Minitheatre in Osoyoos. Performances nightly at 8 pm, and one matinee on Saturday October 27 at 2 p.m. in Osoyoos.
Tickets for The Long Weekend are $18 adults and $15 seniors / students, at Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos) and Sundance Video (Oliver). Cannery Stage tickets are sold through Dragon’s Den (Front Street, Penticton). Tickets will also be sold at the door subject to seat availability. Adult situations. Recommended for 16 and older. For more information, contact 250-498-3597 or soap @ telus.net
Photo credit: Jen Jensen, SOAP