(Posted 7:30 p.m., June 10)
tunderin', latest OOPS play is some funny b'ys
By Fred Sherwin
Jamieson stars as Maude Adams in the Orleans
Older Players production of 'Invasion of the
Cod Snatchers'. Fred Sherwin/Photo
I hear the words "Quebec" and "distinct
society" used in the same sentence I can't help but
chuckle, because whoever came up with the phrase has obviously
never been to the rock.
you want to see a distinct society, Newfoundland and Labrador
is about as distinct a society as you can get. That was
abundantly evident during the latest Orleans Older Players
production of "Invasion of the Cod Snatchers",
a lovely yarn about the time a couple of aliens invaded
Catherine's Tickle to steal the island's codfish and bring
it back to their planet.
Orleans Older Players class is offered by the Orleans
Young Players Theatre School for adults who are young
at heart. This year's cast included a number of OOPS regulars
including Tina Chan, David Shackleton, Randy Bellini,
Biz MacDonald and Heather Jamieson in a reprisal of her
role as Maude Parsons that is pure comedic genious.
is the white-haired salty narrator with an affinity for
with Susan Flemming's witty script, Jamieson was in her
artisitic element as Maude. Try to imagine a female version
of Don Farquarson with a Newfoundland accent and you'll
have a pretty good grasp of Maude Parsons..
Adams is just the tip of the iceberg, the rest of the
eclectic cast included a pair of wayward puffins played
by Sue Ashton and Celine Nadeau; a germaphobe federal
bureaucratic played by James Emmett and his executive
assistant Millicent Brandywine played by Trudy Samuels;
a fast-talking radio commentator played by David Shackleton;
a pair of competitive birdwatchers played by Lyne Shackleton
and Brenda Bogue; and a socialite transplant turned make-up
salesperson played by Jennifer Wainman-McNaught.
central characters, however, are Veronica Dawe, played
by Tina Chan and her Italian fiance Giuseppe Giovanini
played by Randy Belini.
couple have a tiff over the future of Newfoundland. Dawe
is very anti-Confederation and would rather live on another
planet than join the rest of Canada. Giuseppe is enamored
with the idea of collecting unemployment insurance when
there's no fishing to be done and ordering tax free from
the Eaton's catalogue.
is talks about seeing strange lights in the sky and hearing
meanwhile, gets cast onto a beach after his boat gets
capsized in a storm. He's found by la petit Pierrer St.
Pierre, son of la grand Pierre St. Pierre from the island
of St. Pierre, but he's suffering from amnesia.
la petit Pierrer St. Pierre, son of la grand Pierre St.
Pierre from the island of St. Pierre goes for help, Giuseppe
is discovered by Queen Pinguinis and her robot Blink.
The two aliens wamt to steal Newfoundland's codfish and
bring them back to their home planet.
pair are played by AnnMarie Neilson and André Lacasse.
Part of their plan is to dress like the locals and blend
in. The only problem is that Pinguinis dresses like Veronica
Dawe and Blink dresses like Giuseppe, which creates a
bit of confusion.
a but dazed and confused from his ordeal, Giuseppe mistakes
Pinguinis for his fiance, and a very confused la petit
Pierrer St. Pierre, son of la grand Pierre St. Pierre
from the island of St. Pierre mistakes Blink the robot
the end the alien plot is foiled; Quenn Pinguinis ends
up pursuing the bureaucrat. La petit Pierrer St. Pierre,
son of la grand Pierre St. Pierre from the island of St.
Pierre teaches Blink to be a fisherman; the birdwatchers
are each awarded the Golden Feather for spotting the Great
Awk; and Giuseppe and Veronica are married.
of the Great Awk. The giant bird is played by Biz MacDonald
who took the theatrical phrase, "break a leg",
a little too literally when she broke her foot during
the injury, MacDonald soldiered on to the benefit of the
production as a whole. And although her lines consisted
of just one word, "awwkk", she was able to deliver
it 40 different ways, drawing nearly as many laughs as
Maude which brings me back to Ms. Jamieson.
seeing the reprisal of the venerable Ms. Parsons, I can
only hope that the local theatric power- that-be produce
a one woman show with Jamieson front and centre. I even
have the perfect title picked out, "Maude Parsons'
Unauthorized Biography of Newfoundland and Labrador".
I guarantee, I'll be the first in line to buy tickets.
the meantime, anyone with "acting in a local play"
on their bucket list should call the OYPTS office and
register for next year's Orleans Older Players class.
Judging by this year's production, it's bound to be an
of the cast serenade the audience at the end
of the Orleans Older Players production of
'Invasion of the Cod Snatchers'. Fred Sherwin/Photo
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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