Thursday, October 12, 2006
Stages of life: The Newmarket Stage Company
Well, I did her.
Handed in a play script to Ray Burdon, local theatre director.
He rewarded me with a chance to see a current play, event though he just works the front door these days. (Ray is retired).
But Ray does know (of course) director Harry Lavigne and producer Alison Scarlett and they had invited me to take in the Newmarket Stage Company's production of The Kitchen Witches, a Canadian play.
I guess I have some sort of reputation as a not-all-that great theatre reviewer, and no opportunity is wasted. "I'll take your script, Ivan...but you might want to review the play?"--I quote loosely.
Enjoyed the play. Very much. Thank you.
I plan, in part, to blog on it or maybe influence paddle a bit. Do i have any influence left? I am most days, an artful shopper at Dominion dumpsters. Ah art!
From: Ivan Prokopchuk
Hanging around local theatre in hopes of having a novel turned into a play, I found myself totally delighted by attending my home-town's Newmarket Stage Company's production of The Kitchen Witches an all-Canadian comedy about two Martha Stewart characters on the same cablecast cooking show who have hated each other for years. Long-dead (is he grateful up there with his harp?) Stephen Biddle dated one and married the other.
So when circumstances put Isabel Lomax and Dolly Biddle together, the insults fly faster than the food.
Dolly's producer son (or is he really Isabel's son?) tries to keep them on track just at the point where he had given up cigarettes and he is a nervous wreck. The camera man for the cooking show, moreover, is a stone Goth, played by the funny-as-hell Thomas Cooper.
Makes for a lively play.
Seems that Canadian playwright Caroline Smith resisted the current "Stephen Has Two Mommies" trend and has produced a Samuel French award-winning comedy without the politics.
I can't get over the acting.
Guess in part, it's my background and Dolly's original portrayal of a Ukrainian cooking lady on her own TV show made for lots of pyrogy jokes. We were not Poles apart in the subject matter.
But then Flo McLellan, who plays Dolly, went into high Martha mode, the accent was gone and the battle between Dolly Biddle and Isabel Lomax is on.
There are instances of actors sometimes overcoming a script that begins to sag, and I must say that Coleeen Simms, who plays the irascible Isobel Lomax soon brightens the action once Dolly stops being the Ukrainian "Babka" cooking maven and on the new cable cooking show.
Isabel Lomax comes onto the show all challenge and insult, and Dolly counters with trying to get the nearest dressing room to the set.
But there is also a god out of the machine.
Former procucer of Newmarket Stage company Ray Burdon is the poor guinea pig who has to sample Dollly and Isabel's dessert fare and he gives one hell of a performance, reminiscent (to me anyway) of poor old Jalbert in The Professor and the Blue Angel, though in this insance, Ray has the outfit all right, but it is the strawberry and cheese that they are laying all over him. And he is something like the eternus-famishus Tasmanian Devil in devouring it all.Ray Burdon is funny as hell as the Deux ex Machina. A machina soon well oiled and cared for.
So long since I'd donned the lumberjack shirt and blue jeans and waited for the casting call.
Thanks for inviting me, Ray Burdon.
I had a blast, especially in the part where Dolly became the food queen, there was the entrance march from Aida, Dolly and Isobel walk out into the audience and I am thrilled to actually behold beautiful actress Colleen Simms.right in front of my seat.