11 a.m., Feb. 27)
Latest OOPS production shines irreverent light on our golden years
By Fred Sherwin
latest Orleans Older Players class took to the stage Saturday night for the first
of three weekend performances of the production "Opps, We're Doing It Again"
at the Shenkman Arts Centre.
David and Lyne Shackleton perform "Baby It's Cold Outside" during the
Orleans Older Players production of "Oops We're Doing It Again". Fred
directed and produced by Susan Flemming, the play is set in a retirement home
and revolves around preparations for a talent show.
residents are an eccentric collection of seniors, most of whom have been recruited
to take part in the show against their wishes.
director of the residence is Hanna Spitzle, played by Kim Riley, who, when she's
not glued to her Blackberry, is holding staff meetings and changing the designation
of the recreation activities director to the life enrichment co-ordinator.
job of co-ordinating the talent show is left up to Vicki Birtwhistle, who is played
by AnneMarie Neilson. She's assisted by Althea Screech, whose most notable fashion
accessory is an ankle bracelet.
seems Screech, who is played by Monique Ricketts, received a community service
sentence after being banned from Walmart for 10 years for defacing copies of a
Justin Bieber's CD. Her assigned task at the retirement residence is to act as
the resident vocal coach.
residence also has a custodian named Duane Bentright who is played by Shenkman
Arts Centre custodian Andre LaCasse. Bentright gets a little bent out of shape
when he meets fellow handyman Artie Cannon, played by Randy Bellini, who has been
brought in to act as his assistant.
residents are an interesting bunch, to say the least. Marjorie Howick, who is
played by Sue Ashton, is the resident card shark. She pretends to be confined
to a wheelchair so that her friend Candace Buckett, played by Celine Nadeau, has
something to do in wheeling her around the retirement residence.
Vanderlea and John Senior Jr. are played by Lyne and David Shackleton who are
husband and wife. Senior is the resident curmudgeon who wants nothing more than
to be left alone, or at least that's the facade he portrays, while Cordelia is
in constant pursuit of his affection.
newest resident is Olive Hoyle, who has been dropped off by her daughter Jennifer,
played by Jessica Smith. When Jennifer finds out the residents are planning a
talent show, she decides to stick around to see if she can shoehorn her way into
final member of the cast is Sandra Mortimer, who plays the annoyingly perky recreation
coordinator Honey Wheeler.
script is filled with great one-liners and plays up the eccentricity of the characters.
of the highlights of the play is when the Mr. Senior and Cordelia perform a duet
of "Baby It's Cold Outside".
Nadeau's performance of "Smelly Cat", originally sung by Phoebe Buffay
in the hit series "Friends" was a real hoot as well.
memorable moments include the opening ensemble when the cast gets to show off
their chorus line skills in a spoof of the Britney Spears song "Oops, I Did
It Again" and the scene in which Marjorie and John Senior Jr. "race"
for the remote control from opposite sides of the stage. She in her wheelchair
and he in his walker.
cleverly written play includes pre-recorded snippets which are used to tell the
audience what the characters are really thinking. For instance, Majorie only uses
a wheelchair so that Candace can feel useful, and John Senior is really a warm-hearted
man who is enamored with Cordelia.
Orléans Older Player class is about as amateur as amateur theatre gets. Most of
the members have never performed in a play in their lives. They either have children
who are enrolled in the Orléans Young Players Theatre School or they have friends
who are involved with the group.
more information about the Orléans Older Players class visit www.oypts.ca.
Enrollment is already underway for the next session which begins March 21.
We're Doing It Again" continues on Sunday with two performances at 2:30 p.m.
and 9 p.m. Tickets are available at the door. $10 for adults and $5 for children
12 and under.
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