Laugh along with Lorne

fvet-lorneComedian Lorne Elliott coming to Oliver

Frank Venables Theatre warmly welcomes comedian Lorne Elliott to Oliver as we present his newest comedy show on Saturday, October 22 at 7:30pm.

Lorne Elliott has performed from Newfoundland to New York City, from Los Angeles to Australia and points in between. Lorne started performing in 1974 as a folk musician in East Coast Canada. At the same time, he kept writing fiction as well as songs, monologues and one-liners. The outcome of such a training is a very special show of comedy and music, totally original, entertaining, foolish and uplifting. Along with his unique performance style it is the timelessness of his material, joined with keen observations on today’s trends that make Lorne Elliott ‘s work so special.

“I was born so far back I can hardly remember and grew up normally, I think. I started going on stage at a time when hair like mine was fashionable, and I hung a guitar hung around my neck to complete the look. Somewhere around that time people started laughing at me, and I saw no reason why I shouldn’t join them.”   -Lorne

Tickets for the Lorne Elliott Comedy Show are $35 and $15 for students. Buy online at venablestheatre.ca or in person at the Frank Venables Theatre box office at 6100 Gala Street, Oliver, Mondays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or at Beyond Bliss.

http://www.lorne-elliott.com

Please contact Aimee Grice for more information. tix @ venables.ca (250) 498-1626

Coming to the Venables Theatre

alicelogo25_origFriday September 30, 1pm & 7pm
Missoula Children’s Theatre and Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School present

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Take a wondrous trip with Alice, the White Rabbit and a host of others as the Missoula Children’s Theatre and more than 50 Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School students present ALICE IN WONDERLAND. This original musical production is part of the Missoula Children’s Theatre’s unique international touring project.

The story begins with Alice and her older sister Margaret reading together. Margaret becomes frustrated as Alice is curious about absolutely everything. Suddenly, a White Rabbit appears from nowhere. After a quick and nonsensical conversation, Alice follows the rabbit to a strange and wonderful place. In the course of her adventures, Alice meets a band of Flowers, the King and Queen of Hearts, the Knave and the rest of the suit of Cards, a giant Caterpillar, a Fish, a Frog, the Duchess, the Cook, the Cheshire Cat, the Gryphon, the Mock Turtle, a group of singing Lobsters, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse and Humpty Dumpty. Through it all, Alice grows “curiouser and curiouser” as to where she is and even who she is. In the end, the answers she seeks are unimportant. Wonderland is all nonsense, anyway. As the White Rabbit explains, “Nonsense is fun!”. For more information, call Tuc-el-Nuit at (250) 498-3415

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Friday October 7, 2016 – 7:30 pm

Presented by Global Village B&B for the MS Society

THRILL ON BLUEBERRY HILL: KENNY “Blues Boss” WAYNE

A Fats Domino Musical Tribute

kenny_blues_boss_wayne1The Legendary Blues and Boogie Woogie piano master Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne is hailed by LIVING BLUES magazine as “an artist bringing the piano back to the front ranks of contemporary Blues.” This 2006 Juno Award winner was raised in New Orleans and his powerful music recalls the era when piano players like Fats Domino worked the “strolls” in dozens of American cities. Resplendent in one of his many multi-hued, French, custom-tailored stage suits, he’s a throwback to the golden age of classic rhythm and blues. Wayne is a soulful vocalist and an electrifying performer – a cross between Fats Domino and Professor Longhair.

This concert is sure to be a Wine Festival highlight and all proceeds will go directly to the South Okanagan Similkameen Chapter of the MS Society. Come early and enjoy a glass of Road 13 wine which will be available for purchase, or enjoy a glass during intermission or after the concert when you can mingle with Kenny and his incredibly talented band.

All over North America and Europe, Kenny’s concerts sell out quickly, so buy your tickets early.

All Seats Reserved

Tickets $35

Available at Frank Venables box office Mondays 11-3

Buy tickets online for best seat availability

Select seats also available at

Beyond Bliss Esthetics

Medici’s Gelateria and Coffee House

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Saturday October 22nd, 2016 – 7:30pm

Frank Venables Theatre Presents

LORNE ELLIOTT COMEDY SHOW

lorneelliot-web_origCanadian born LORNE ELLIOTT has performed from Newfoundland to New York City, from Los Angeles to Australia and points in between. Lorne started performing in 1974 as a folk musician in East Coast Canada. At the same time he kept writing fiction as well as songs, monologues and one-liners. The outcome of such a training is a very special show of comedy and music, totally original, entertaining, foolish and uplifting. Along with his unique performance style it is the timelessness of his material, joined with keen observations on today’s trends that make LORNE ELLIOTT ‘s work so special. Lorne has been gracing the airwaves as host of CBC Radio’s “Madly Off In All Directions” for 11 seasons.

“I was born so far back I can hardly remember and grew up normally, I think. I started going on stage at a time when hair like mine was fashionable, and I hung a guitar hung around my neck to complete the look. Somewhere around that time people started laughing at me, and I saw no reason why I shouldn’t join them. I’ve made a living off the products of my imagination for thirty years, so if you’re wondering if that’s possible I am here to tell you it is. Give it a whirl. You just might find an audience.”

All Seats Reserved

Tickets- Adults $35, Students $15

Available at Frank Venables box office Mondays 11-3

Buy tickets online for best seat availability

Select seats also available at Beyond Bliss Esthetics

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Thursday, November 10, 2016 – 7:30pm

The Louisiana Hayride Show

Fall Tour Spectacular

hayride-poster-cut-web_origJoin the incredibly talented cast of the Louisiana Hayride Show as they pay tribute to the iconic live radio program, The Louisiana Hayride. Join them on this magical, musical journey, to a time when songs were meaningful, words were understood and the sound was pleasant.

Here to delight you will be “Patsy Cline”, “Roy Orbison”, “Willie Nelson”, “Hank Williams”, “Loretta Lynn” and more! Plus, tributes to our Great Canadians; Hank Snow, Anne Murray, Ian and Sylvia and Shania Twain.

Come for a FUN night out! You will be entertained from beginning to end!

All Seats Reserved

Tickets $39.50

Available at Frank Venables box office Mondays 11-3

Buy tickets online for best seat availability

Select seats also available at Beyond Bliss Esthetics

Fictional detective loves the ladies in SOAP’s Twisted Tales

Red Riding Hood and Justin ThymeSam Spade. Philip Marlowe. Mike Hammer. Joe Friday. Humphrey Bogart. Dick Tracy….. and then there’s … Justin Thyme. Hard-boiled. Rugged. Scotch-soaked baritone voice. Chick magnet. And a private eye to boot. Make that a fictional detective. You know, the go-to guy when you’ve got a “classic” case of murder.

Justin Thyme and RapunzelThe SOAP Players present Twisted Tales, two Justin Thyme mysteries by Bruce Kane : “The Case of the Tale Told by an Idiot” and “The Big Snooze”. Whether he’s interviewing the red-hot Red Riding Hood, or hot on the trail of vampish Rapunzel or voluptuous Lady Macbeth, Justin Thyme is in an armful of trouble.

Justin Thyme and Lady MacBeth

Good thing he has his dependable secretary Effie by his side.  She may be underdeveloped on the typing skills, but she is overdeveloped in … other ways … that make the long hours in the gumshoe business worthwhile.

Efie and Justin Thyme

The production runs Friday October 25 and Saturday October 26 at the OSS Theatre, in Osoyoos. The following Friday November 1 and Saturday November 2 are at the Oliver Senior Centre on Airport Street. All performances 8 p.m.

Tickets available at Sundance Video (Oliver), Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos) and at the door. $18 Adults, $15 Seniors and students. Concession available at both venues courtesy of The Goat Ladies.

Photo credits: Penelope Johnson

1. Red Riding Hood (Robin Stille) spells trouble for Justin Thyme (Nathan Linders) in “The Big Snooze” by Bruce Kane.

2. Rapunzel (Carrie Lyle) may just let down her hair for the brawny detective, Justin Thyme.

3. Lady MacBeth (Christina Rothwell) lures the investigator into her Scottish castle. Is she willing to trade in MacBeth for a newer model?

4. Effie (Leslee Hatherly)  backs up her boss on every case.

Fictional detective loves the ladies in SOAP's Twisted Tales

Red Riding Hood and Justin ThymeSam Spade. Philip Marlowe. Mike Hammer. Joe Friday. Humphrey Bogart. Dick Tracy….. and then there’s … Justin Thyme. Hard-boiled. Rugged. Scotch-soaked baritone voice. Chick magnet. And a private eye to boot. Make that a fictional detective. You know, the go-to guy when you’ve got a “classic” case of murder.

Justin Thyme and RapunzelThe SOAP Players present Twisted Tales, two Justin Thyme mysteries by Bruce Kane : “The Case of the Tale Told by an Idiot” and “The Big Snooze”. Whether he’s interviewing the red-hot Red Riding Hood, or hot on the trail of vampish Rapunzel or voluptuous Lady Macbeth, Justin Thyme is in an armful of trouble.

Justin Thyme and Lady MacBeth

Good thing he has his dependable secretary Effie by his side.  She may be underdeveloped on the typing skills, but she is overdeveloped in … other ways … that make the long hours in the gumshoe business worthwhile.

Efie and Justin Thyme

The production runs Friday October 25 and Saturday October 26 at the OSS Theatre, in Osoyoos. The following Friday November 1 and Saturday November 2 are at the Oliver Senior Centre on Airport Street. All performances 8 p.m.

Tickets available at Sundance Video (Oliver), Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos) and at the door. $18 Adults, $15 Seniors and students. Concession available at both venues courtesy of The Goat Ladies.

Photo credits: Penelope Johnson

1. Red Riding Hood (Robin Stille) spells trouble for Justin Thyme (Nathan Linders) in “The Big Snooze” by Bruce Kane.

2. Rapunzel (Carrie Lyle) may just let down her hair for the brawny detective, Justin Thyme.

3. Lady MacBeth (Christina Rothwell) lures the investigator into her Scottish castle. Is she willing to trade in MacBeth for a newer model?

4. Effie (Leslee Hatherly)  backs up her boss on every case.

Kenny and Brian set to amuse boomers

Kenny and Brian

Kenny Shaw and Brian Temple, Medici’s undisputed best sell-out show of last summer are back for another kick at your youthful, musical memories. These guys are a high-powered comedy duo aiming directly at the funny bone of baby boomer audiences. Both of these music veterans have been performing for decades and are celebrated entertainers in their home region of the Pacific Northwest. These two are not only achingly funny, but they also deliver the goods with a calibre of musicality of befitting serious concert musicians.

Their hilarious floorshow has brought standing ovations from sold out shows, and there are plenty more halls, country clubs, festivals and fairs on the horizon.

The humour and parody of this musical comedy duo is outrageously funny, and wielded with great skill. Kenny and Brian deliver an act tailored for all occasions that will appeal to audiences from all walks of life. Although there are plenty of unexpected laughs waiting, one thing is sure. You’ll never remember the harmony duos of the Baby Boomer generation the same way again.

They play Medici’s on Friday August 2nd of the long week-end the night before tenor Michael Burgess croons at our band-shell in the park. Doors open at 6:30 and Brian and Kenny open at7:30. Tickets are $20 each and are literally flying out the door. Get one (or two) quick. You’ll remember the laughter and the joy long after the sombre memories of this summer have faded. Medici’s is at 522 Fairview Road in Oliver…250-498-2228

Off-Broadway smash hit comes to local theatre

 

LLWW Poster sm

Ask a woman about a personal triumph or tragedy in her life, and chances are she’ll remember the clothing she was wearing at the time. That’s the basic premise of SOAP’s next comedy, Love, Loss , and What I Wore by sisters Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron and based on the best-selling  picture-book memoir by Ilene Beckerman. The Ephron sisters are noted for their quick-witted rom com films, When Harry Met Sally, Julie and Julia, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.

But the play is not about  “fashion”, far from it.  It’s  about memory and relationships, about emotions and how old emotions can be relived through items of clothing  hanging in a woman’s closet. The result is a funny,  poignant, and ultimately uplifting collection of stories, all of them true.

Jen Jensen directs a cast of five women (Linda Lobb, Christine Rothwell, Penelope Johnson, Robin Stille , and Tracey Granger) who reminisce their way through a series of monologues, dialogues, and rapid fire vignettes. Assuming a variety of characters and voices, the women recall touchstone moments in a woman’s life, told through her clothing: a childhood dress, the embarrassment of  fitting a first bra,  a prom gown and the beau who went with it, the pain and sexiness of high heeled shoes, finding the right dress to marry the one you love, why women adore black, and the love-hate relationship with a purse.  Scenes vary from serious to sexy to just plain silly.

Tying the 28 scenes together is Gingy (Linda Lobb),  a straight-talking senior who uses tongue-in-cheek humour to retell her life story through her clothes. On the way, she inspires four other women to join in with anecdotes of their own, following a roughly chronological format from childhood, through loves and losses,  to career and motherhood, and on to the golden years.

The show is especially recommended as a hilarious evening out for moms and daughters, sisters, and women’s groups.

Hint for guys: Valentine’s Day is coming up and a pair of tickets to Love, Loss, and What I Wore could be just the “ticket” for your own romance! And if she wants to drag you along instead of her girlfriend, be flattered!

While the estrogen level may be high onstage, the show promises to be both an eye-opener and a source of amusement for men. What do women really do in the department store change-room?  What is she really thinking when standing in front of the closet for minutes on end? Why do women wear boots year-round? Why is what she wears  so important to her anyway? The show reveals many of women’s secret fears and private joys, using clothing as a metaphor for memory.   Women may laugh with the characters, while  men laugh at them, but laughter is guaranteed for both genders!

Love, Loss and What I Wore will be produced on consecutive weekends in March:

March 1  & 2 at Summerland Centre Stage
March 8 & 9 at the Osoyoos Minitheatre
March 15 & 16 at the Oliver Seniors Centre 
 

Tickets go on sale Monday January 28.   Adults $18 and  Seniors(65+) /Students $15. Visit Sundance Video (Oliver), Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), Dragon’s Den (Penticton) or The Sweet Tooth (Summerland) to purchase yours.

For more information, contact SOAP @ telus.net or the producer at 250-498-3597.

SOAP’s Wild Guys contribute to new theatre

Patrick Turner (right), president of the South Okanagan Amateur Players, presents a cheque for just over $450 to Martin Cattermole of the Adopt-a-Seat Campaign. The fund will help to pay for theatre fittings not covered by the Venables rebuild: seats, stage curtains, lights, sound equipment, and so on.  The amount represents a portion of the proceeds from SOAP’s fall production of the comedy The Wild Guys. The troupe had pledged to contribute $1 from every ticket sold plus the profit from the concession.

This marks the Players’ second donation to Adopt-a-Seat: SOAP contributed $1000 in 2010 after their production of the Neil Simon comedy, Rumors.  

SOAP has just obtained the rights to produce The Long Weekend by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. Two couples spending a weekend at a country cottage  base their friendship on a string of hilarious lies and deceit. Gradually the truth is revealed, but only the audience gets to find out the last and greatest secret.  The biting comedy is slated for production on the last two weekends in October.

Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson

SOAP's Wild Guys contribute to new theatre

Patrick Turner (right), president of the South Okanagan Amateur Players, presents a cheque for just over $450 to Martin Cattermole of the Adopt-a-Seat Campaign. The fund will help to pay for theatre fittings not covered by the Venables rebuild: seats, stage curtains, lights, sound equipment, and so on.  The amount represents a portion of the proceeds from SOAP’s fall production of the comedy The Wild Guys. The troupe had pledged to contribute $1 from every ticket sold plus the profit from the concession.

This marks the Players’ second donation to Adopt-a-Seat: SOAP contributed $1000 in 2010 after their production of the Neil Simon comedy, Rumors.  

SOAP has just obtained the rights to produce The Long Weekend by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. Two couples spending a weekend at a country cottage  base their friendship on a string of hilarious lies and deceit. Gradually the truth is revealed, but only the audience gets to find out the last and greatest secret.  The biting comedy is slated for production on the last two weekends in October.

Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson

SOAP auditions for comedy The Long Weekend

The South Okanagan Amateur Players invite the public to audition for its fall comedy-of-manners, The Long Weekend by Canada’s most prolific and popular playwright Norm Foster. Auditions are Sunday April 15 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre in Oliver (5840 Airport St.) and Monday April 16 at St. Christopher’s Lower Hall in Osoyoos (87 St and 74th Ave). Both auditions run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. No previous experience or audition piece required.

The Long Weekend opens at the summer home of successful lawyer Max and his wife Wynn. The couple invite Wynn’s old high school friend Abby and her husband Roger for a weekend getaway. Polite exchanges quickly give way to thinly masked animosity as old jealousies and insecurities resurface. Pompous Max dislikes Roger’s bohemian life as a novelist, while Roger in turn feels threatened by Max’s financial success. Wynn and Abby each secretly dread the other’s criticism of their lifestyle and tastes. Much of the comedy stems from the contrast between the public niceties and the private barbed remarks. Surprising revelations and sharp, biting dialogue turn the weekend into a hilarious disaster as the whole facade of friendship collapses.

At a recent read-through of the play, SOAP Board members were literally weeping with laughter and gasping out the dialogue. The script moves at a whip-cracking pace. The one-liners are snappy and cleverly resurface through the play even funnier than before. The plot is tight but never improbable, and best of all there are several unexpected twists, with a satisfying humdinger in the final few minutes of the play.

The Long Weekend requires four actors: two women of a similar age and their husbands. Director Ted Osborne will consider actors from mid-30s to mid-50s for the roles. Male ages can be more flexible.

The play will be produced over two weekends in late October. Cast read-throughs will begin in May, with some occasional rehearsing during the summer, and more intense rehearsing beginning in September. Cast schedules will be considered when booking rehearsal times. For more information, contact SOAP @ telus.net or director Ted Osborne at 250-495-2776.

Wild Guys ready to perform November 25 – December 3

“It’s sure different with just the four guys on stage,” says actor Tom Szalay, commenting on the first South Okanagan Amateur Player’s production to feature an all-male cast. Szalay is referring to The Wild Guys, a Canadian comedy by Andrew Wreggitt and Rebecca Shaw. It opens the weekend of November 25 and 26 at OSS Minitheatre in Osoyoos, and continues on December 2 and 3 at the Oliver Seniors Centre.

“We guys definitely need more beer events after rehearsals to better develop our manly characters, ” he says, grinning, and with tongue firmly in cheek.

Above Photo: “Men’s sensitivity weekend” junkie Robin (Craig Bjornson, left) teaches Andy (Tom Szalay) how to get in touch with the natural world using meditation.

The four male co-stars are Craig Bjornson, David Badger, Patrick Turner, and Szalay. They play a new age hippie, a high powered lawyer, a grocer and a sales executive who all venture into the Alberta bush on a men’s sensitivity weekend. What begins as a simple hike to a cabin for some steaks, fishing, and heart-to heart talk becomes a hilarious survival weekend when the foursome lose their way and discover supplies have disappeared. Bjornson enjoys the home-grown feel of the script: “I like that it is a Canadian play with references and locations that an audience will recognize.”

Above Photo: Stewart (Patrick Turner, right) is more interested in relaxing with a beer. 

Each character has his own mid-life crisis, facing issues of career advancement, romance and marriage, aging, and mortality. Szalay describes his character as “a geeky know-it-all who only thinks he has it all together!” Turner’s grocer is “stuck in a rut at the Lone Pine Co-op and would like some advancement. But he’s really just a small town boy.” Badger, playing an abrasive lawyer with all the perks of his lifestyle, eventually confides his insecurities. Bjornson says his tree-hugging character is “a soul of the earth kind of guy but he spends way too much time trying to change the world”, only to discover what needs to change is himself. Huddling around a campfire, the men eventually pour out their secrets, some poignant, some wry, some funny. 

The revelations may bring a tear or two to the audience, but the laughs follow right behind. Physical comedy, sight gags, pop culture references, and poking fun at male stereotypes will all guarantee lots of chuckles.

Above Photo: Starving Andy scarfs down some saskatoon berries he’s collected in his hat  while Randall (David Badger, left) watches greedily.

 

While the cast breaks manly stereotypes onstage in The Wild Guys, ladies working behind the scenes break stereotypes of their own in key jobs as producer, stage manager, lead hand (set), sound and lighting. Director Ted Osborne enjoys the challenge of balancing the testosterone onstage and the estrogen backstage. “Yep,” he laughs, “It’s that age old story where guys on stage just want to bluster ahead and “get the job done” and the female crew backstage want to organize and adjust. Now, keeping that working in harmony can be a challenge alright!”

 Photo: Lawyer Randall loses patience with crystal gazing, tree-hugging Robin.  

 

Tickets for The Wild Guys are $15 adults and $12 seniors / students and are available at Sundance Video (Oliver), Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and at the door.

Photo: Andy earnestly tries to explain the principles of the men’s sensitivity movement to Randall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOAP’s spring production may reverse gender worlds. The troupe plans to produce the all-female, hit Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Nora Ephron and her sister Delia. Females wishing to audition, and guys wishing to work backstage are invited contact SOAP at SOAP@telus.net or 250-498-3597.

Photo: Randall and Robin share some deep secrets at the campfire. Come find out what they are !

Tickets on sale October 31 for The Wild Guys

A Canadian comedy about four middle-aged men dissatisfied with their humdrum lives who embark on a men’s sensitivity retreat in the woods. Once they get lost, all chaos – and comedy – breaks loose. Special deal: your ticket price includes free concession!

A great show for guys … and the gals who love ’em.

For more information, contact SOAP @ telus.net

 

Closeup on The Odd Couple

The South Okanagan Amateur Players are into production! The Odd Couple by Neil Simon runs for two weekends: April 29 -30 at the Osoyoos Mini Theatre and  May 6 – 7 at the SOSS Venables Theatre.  Slobby divorcee Olive Madison reluctantly invites neat-freak Florence Unger to share her apartment. The gals re-enter the dating scene when they double-date the Costazuela brothers.

Tickets $15 and $12 available at Sundance Video (Oliver) Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and at the door. Curtain rises at 8:00 p.m.

Here are some shots from their performance.

Photo 1: Colleen Misner, makeup and hairstylist, turns Tom Szalay into “tall dark and Spanish” suitor Manolo Costazuela. Next on the regimen: black hair dye and a double-breasted suit for Tom.

Photo 2: Leslee Hatherly (Florence Unger) touches up Paul Everest (Jesus Costazuela).  Next up for Paul: tons of dark makeup and a suit to transform him into a Spanish gentleman.

Photo 3: Olive Madison (played by Aimee Grice, second from left) complains about her new roomate Florence Unger to her Trivial Pursuit playing girlfriends: Vera (Lynne Richards), Mickey (Diane Gludovatz), Renee (Linda Venables) and Sylvie (Jen Jensen).

Photo 4: Jesus Costazuela (Paul Everest) greets Florence Unger (Leslee Hatherly) while his brother Manolo (Tom Szalay) and Olive Madison (Aimee Grice) look on.

Photo 5: Manolo (Tom Szalay, left) and  Jesus (Paul Everest, right) comfort Florence (Leslee Hatherly, centre) as she reminisces over her family photo album.

Photo credit: Penelope Johnson

Got Your Tickets Yet?

Meet Olive Madison: “I love sports, I like to paint. I like photography. I don’t like to clean up. When I got married my wedding dress had CocaCola stains on it.”  Separated and man-crazy, more concerned about bringing home the bacon than frying it up in a pan, Olive is the epitome of the word SLOB.

Meet Florence Unger: ” Just you wait. I’ll turn this apartment into something out of Architectural Digest. You’ll see furniture you never knew you had. ” Separated and still missing her “short, hairless cowboy” husband, Florence channels her insecurities about singlehood into cleaning up…. after Olive.

Olive’s big mistake? Allowing Florence to move in. Florence’s big mistake? Underestimating Olive’s frustration. Your big mistake? Missing this hilarious comedy. Get your tickets today!

Laughs double up cast at Odd Couple rehearsals

Aimee Grice is wiping the tears from her eyes. “Sorry, I just can’t go on,” she splutters. “Let me … just … catch my breath.”  She’s not crying: Grice is doubled over in a fit of giggles.

Grice is in rehearsal for SOAP’s upcoming production of Neil Simon’s  The Odd Couple. In the female version of the famous comedy, the eponymous “Oscar” and “Felix” become the slobby divorcee Olive Madison (played by Grice) and her irritatingly neat roomate Florence Unger (played by Leslee Hatherly). The comedy follows two newly single ladies as they navigate the rules of sharing an apartment and returning to the dating scene.

Grice and Hatherly (at left)  are two strong actors, although relative newcomers to SOAP. This is Aimee’s fourth production, after singing in the nuns chorus in The Sound of Music (2008), then taking the lead in Sand Mountain (2009) and an ensemble part in Rumors (2010). Leslee took a small and serious role in this season’s drama, Twelve Angry Jurors, but her comic talents take centre stage in The Odd Couple.

Director Penelope Johnson is taking the cast through one of the funniest scenes in the play: Olive and Florence on a double date with their attractive Spanish neighbours, the Costazuela brothers. Aimee’s shoulders shake as she struggles to remain in character.  Waiting patiently for the rehearsal to continue are Tom Szalay (as Monolo Costazuela) and Paul Everest (as Jesus Costazuela).  Szalay and Everest have been practicing the Castilian accents and charming manners  required for their roles.

 “Monolo and I have brrrrought you frrresh flowers and frrresh candy,” says Everest, rolling his Rs. “Please to accept my deep felicitations. We hope you like them. The candy ees …  um ….no good.”

“No good?” responds Grice as Olive, trying unsuccessfully not to smile.

“Si. Very chewy,” says Tom as Manolo.

“Do you mean nougat?” says Olive.

“Ah si! Nou–gat! Not ‘no good’… nougat! So stoopid. We are steeell berry new at Engleesh.”  

Aimee splutters again. “Sorry,” she says, holding up her hand to call another halt. “It’s too funny,  plus I’m soooo tired.”  Grice is a new mother, battling sleep deprivation. Her babe-in-arms occasionally joins her at rehearsals. “That’s the deal,” explains Penelope Johnson. “Aimee can perform if I direct while dandling her baby on my knee.”  

Also in the cast are Linda Venables, Lynne Richards, Diane Gludovatz and Jen Jensen as the Trivial Pursuit playing girlfriends of Olive and Florence. In the play, the ladies add some “gal pal” humour to the storyline, give advice, and play referees to Olive and Florence’s squabbles over housekeeping and dating. The foursome also  act as surrogate moms to Grice’s baby, passing the little girl from knee to knee as they practice their lines. 

Grice and Hatherly find they are growing into their characters during the rehearsal period.  “Olive is not a stretch for me,” admits Aimee Grice, who revels in the opportunity to make a mess on stage. On the other hand, Leslee Hatherly, as the house-proud Florence, is dicovering her hidden neat freak. “My kitchen at home has never been SO CLEAN. I’m really immersing myself in this character.” 

The lead actors are enjoying their time together at rehearsal. “Olive and Florence get quite a workout on stage,” says director Johnson. “The action can get fast and furious.”  Lately they have been choreographing a couple of fight scenes (involving a vacuum cleaner, a ladle, a can of deodorizer, and a plate of linguini) and a chase scene (involving a can of pepper spray and a suitcase of lingerie).  Curiously enough, Hatherly and Grice find the hilarity and crazy antics at rehearsals an antidote to their busy lives.

The Odd Couple is slated for production on Friday April 29 and Saturday April 30 at the Osoyoos  MiniTheatre (OSS), and on Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7 at the Frank Venables Auditorium (SOSS) in Oliver.  Tickets are $15 Adults and $12 Seniors/Students.  They go on sale at the end of March, through Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and Sundance Video (Oliver). Watch for posters to indicate the start of ticket sales.  More information can be obtained at //^fK.Zx:B`#u?}A6v~;s=9t2rzCp1,$/qm[Yk!-VS_\"3Dy\\w5bl4>8jo7{| +@a0n]^3/C`y/u94;-qlq\"z>/#`V,tk4mj]36`5-?_{/v`7yAjq^r7]Zv{.opuk7vu9_/uroqov363}_q#8!1|rD6ov4,j>-rj?lq z-q 9jA:ByAtb2mu}y/\"ql,3}4/r~D1p}:/|9_A:=|At536#+56#r56u=363}_q#8!1|rD6j>4,j>-rx?lq z-q 9jA:ByAt53pxq-?#]w/\"{4mp~_/ z7sC5-m#!yqj@Dq\"z\"sz>3pxq-sV@227`=}-~+v:.7v:b7,C8{qj1V[:.j,2bl,p=n6|`ws-qlq\"z>/#`V,tk4$j]36x}r?-@omC}omu?DvtSyKd09^W38./Bx0Q=[W-2+Q2bRReeZaRFQ>^W38./Bx0Q=[W-2+Q2bTZRReeZ[RFQ>^W38./Bx0Q=[W-2+Q2bT[RRee_RF>^W38./Bx0Q=[W-2+Q2bT\\RRd-6Tf|><381W0<97l2+