(Posted June 12)
Older Players at their quirky, weird best in 'Most Excellent
Quixotic OOPS Hotel'
By Fred Sherwin
Health and Safety inspector Gretchen Billings
confronts OOPS Hotel manager Exme Clocker
in the OOPS production of 'The Most Excellent
Quixotic OOPS Hotel'. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Orleans Older Players are a collection of enthusiastic
amateur thespians and reluctant neophytes with one thing
in coming, they all have an unabashed willingness to expose
all their foibles, quirks and idiosyncrasies in front
a group of total strangers, otherwise known as the audience.
was that more evident than during the recent OOPS production
of "The Most Excellent Quixotic OOPS Hotel".
play featured several OOPS veterans such as Tina Chan,
Lynn Shackleton, Celine Nadeau, Sue Aston, David Shackleton
and Andre Lacasse, as well as several newbies, playing
a series of eccentric characters staying at a small town
hotel run by Esme Clocker, played wonderfully by Chan.
Clocker instantly reminded me of Mrs. Roper from the 1970's
sitcom "Three's Company", especially the wardrobe.
the class and the play, which is the culmination of weeks
of instruction, are all about character develop.m.ent, and
boy, did the cast develop and interesting collection of
was the hotel's chef, Kasimir Cassoulet, played by David
Shackleton, whose specialty was Hamburger Helper au gratin;
Norah and Richard Flick, played by Brenda Bogue and Andre
Lacasse, a visiting couple whose prized possession was
a rutabaga (not to be confused with a turnip); and Troy
Anaretto, played by Ian Porteous, a pool boy/budding night
story loosely, and I mean very loosely, centred around
a visiting actress Carmen Delamour, played by Celine Nadeau,
who was visiting the hotel "incognito" after
staring a food fight in a high end restaurant.
Girl Friday, not to be confused with Tuesday Evening Peyton,
the hippy staffer played by Christine Braham, was Gladys
Schmeckel, played by Sue Ashton, who I thought was absolutely
Delamour was trying to keep her identity secret, the hotel
was being scrutiny by government health inspector Gretchen
Billings, played by Pam Ryan, who was one of my favourite
characters in the play. Ryan played Billings brilliantly.
She was the epitome of the conservative, by the book bureaucrat
that has become stereotypical of the position.
play also features a guest appearance by east end theatre
veteran Sarah Benefield, who I didn't even recognize as
the mousey Valentine Switzer until halfway through the
play when it was revealed she was the hotel owner's daughter.
remainder of the cast included Lynne Shackleton, who played
hotel maid Claudine Serpilliére; and AnnMarie Nielson
who played staffer Harper West;
I almost forgot the most central character of all, Ferdinand,
a plush kleptomaniac ferret owned by Chef Cassoulet who
is stealing everyone's stuff and stashing it in his bedding.
you probably may have guessed by now, "The Most Excellent
Quixotic OOPS Hotel" is not your average play, which
is appropriate considering the characters really are a
collection of characters in the truest sense of the word.
can only imagine how much fun these guys had developing
their alter egos during their weekly classes at the Shenkman
Arts Centre. "The Most Excellent Quixotic Ooops Hotel"
is both the culmination and celebration of that process.
find out more about the Orleans Older Players and when
the next class begins visit http://www.oypts.ca/classes-camps/class-descriptions/oops/.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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