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Theatre Xtra bringing “The Good Egg” to stage

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The second Theatre Xtra production of the season is going to be a “good” one, Oct. 28-30 at the Ryan Novak  and Janah Holgate rehearse the Good Egg. Photo by Richard AmeryUniversity of Lethbridge David Spinks Theatre.
Canadian playwright Michael Lewis MacLennan’s  “ The Good Egg,” will take the stage Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.


“It’s a comedy about relationships,” succinctly summarized rookie director  Colleen Trumble.


“It starts off when a mature, successful  couple, Brody and Robin decide they need something to complete their lives. And that something is a child,” she elaborated, adding the play features actors David Adie, Ryan Novak and Janah Holgate.

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Playgoers of Lethbridge production of “One For The Pot” is carefully orchestrated chaos

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What happens when you throw a plethora of puns,  a miasma of mistaken identites and misunderstandings,  a large cast and lot of lines, several distinct accents into a pot and mix it together in five weeks? Complete chaos? Not at all, you get Playgoers of Lethbridge’s latest dinner theatre — Ray Cooney and Tony Hilton’s hilarious British farce “One For The Pot,” a dinner theatre taking place at the Sandman Inn this week beginning tonight.

 

Don Berner, Andrea Vaxvick, Donna Kalau and Josh Hammerstedt rehearse a scene. Photo by Richard Amery

 And even though I’m in the play, albeit for a brief scene, so brief you could miss me if you blink, it afforded me the opportunity to join a handful of audience members at our final dress rehearsal, Monday night and marvel at how well and professionally it has come together in a really short time.

 

And while there were a few miscues and missed pages of script, which is to be expected at a dress rehearsal, the cast covered them professionally.

 

The cast has meshed like they have been performing together for five months or more instead of five weeks.

 Especially Chris McCue, who has admirably embraced the challenge of memorizing most of the the play, performing four of the main characters, all with different accents and basically has to appear in three different places simultaneously.


“The biggest challenge is not just knowing the lines, but knowing who I am supposed to be at any particular moment,” said McCue, who was in the Playgoers of Lethbridge production of “The Mousetrap” in February.

“I did the Mousetrap and it was such a great experience, I thought I would give it another shot, but the fact I was playing four characters came as a shock,” he continued, describing his main character Billy as “daft but lovable.”

 

“He’s a north country man. He’s a little bit daft and can’t add two and two together, but he is such a sweet character,” McCue continued. He also plays Billy’s upper crust twin brother Rupert as well as their devious Irish twin Michael and a surprise at the end.

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Uncommon Women and Others captures a transformative era

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The University of Lethbridge drama department opens their season, Oct. 19 with their production of  Wendy Wasserstein’s “Uncommon Women and Others.”
(l-r) Chelsea Woolley, Makambe Simamba, Danielle Funk, Lindie Last, Ali DeRegt . Photo Submitted

“The play takes place during an era of tremendous change for women,  but the fundamental theme of students figuring out their place in the world remains relevant and recognizable,” says Dr. Shelley Scott, director of Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein. Playing Oct. 19 – 23 at 8 pm in the University Theatre, this often funny, often reflective play transports audiences into the 1970’s to share the struggles, challenges and joys of five independently uncommon women.

“Uncommon Women and Others” is the debut Broadway play written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Wendy Wasserstein. This compelling drama opens as the women meet at a restaurant in 1978.  
 
A flashback transports the action back six years and shows the women while they were students at a prestigious, all-female college, forming the friendships and making the choices that shape their destinies. 
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For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again full of laughter, melodrama and deep thoughts

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If you have a mother, especially a loud, brash, opinionated mother, then you will love  New West Theatre’s new

Nana’s exaggerations make  the play. Photo by Richard Amery

 production of Michel Tremblay’s  “For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again,” which premiered at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Sept. 30 for a sold out crowd.

 

The two actors, Marek Czuma and Karen Johnson-Diamond, making her New West Theatre debut, bond throughout the play, the more they talk , just as if they were mother and son, crack  each other up on occasion while making the audience identify and sympathize with them.


The comedy of the play centres around Nana’s exaggerations as Nana quickly turns the ice throwing incident  into  a lifetime in prison, reform school and two dead family members, not to mention Aunt Gertrude being completely pulled through an old fashioned clothing wringer.

 

Her son has trouble maintaining a straight face throughout Nana’s melodramatic  rants, which only raise her ire all the more. It brings back the memories of similar childhood lectures.

 

You can see the two grow closer as he grows up, starts reading and asking some pretty mature questions, Nana doesn’t know how to answer deep thoughts on blue bloods, nobility and the divine right of kings or why God didn’t tell her Cree ancestors in Saskatchewan that they could be kings  too, just as well as European kings.

 

 Other conversations aren’t as intellectual such as the discussion of Aunt Gertrude and Nana’s roast beef dinners could  have happened over any typical family’s dinner table.

 

I can picture my own dearly departed mother giving me  a similar  “when will you settle down talk”  to the one which concludes this production on a more serious note.

 

And while the ending is pretty unusual and surreal, you grow to love these characters because you know these characters. Chances are you are these characters or part of them.

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