Posted by: mparlee37279 | May 17, 2012

“Oh, What a Tangled Web” Dinner Theater in Bowden

St. Andrew’s Players, loosely affiliated with Bowden St Andrew’s United Church, have done it again! We held our popular BBQ Steak Supper/music/silent auction/theater production on May 4 and 5, 2012, in the Bowden Lions Hall to sold out audiences both nights. The Hall was beautifully decorated with round tables decked in black tablecloths with burgundy napkins in tall wine glasses, simple but elegant burgundy centerpieces, and a play program at each place setting, thanks to Mabel Hamilton’s magic touch!

The steak was donated by Belvin Angus, Marshall Farms and Wood Seed Farm and was barbequed to perfection just outside the hall. The community ladies helped Louise Falk and her Summit UCW team to prepare the rest of the meal and brought enough desserts to make a dieter faint! The dessert table was a multi-tiered feast for the eyes and the stomach! During the meal, Gwen Urano on piano and Herb Urano on bass fiddle provided pleasant dinner music.  After the meal, Charlie Brittain and Friends provided a delightful selection of toe-tapping tunes, including “The Mississippi Squirrel Song,” a perennial request about a squirrel that sets a church congregation on it’s ear!

Another interesting feature of the evening was the silent auction, consisting of a wide variety of items donated by individuals and businesses; jewellery, hand-made clothing, toys, wooden wagons, windmills, hay pellets, even a load of gravel. Michael donated several copies of his latest book, “Son of Sister Maria” to be used in the auction and as door prizes. Our children purchased a 1 1/2 hour airplane ride for three for Michael for Father’s Day. One of these days, Grandpa, Son and Grandson will get to enjoy that ride on a day of their choice! Our children also purchased a beautiful set of pearls for me for Mother’s Day after a fierce bidding war with several other interested bidders! Bidding was finally cut off and I was able to wear my beautiful pearls to the performance the next night!

Then it was play time! This year the St Andrew’s Players performed “Oh, What a Tangled Web,” a delightful comedy written by John R. Carroll.  On an impulse, Jan, a fifteen year old, makes up a story and the resulting complications are extremely funny. Suddenly needing an excuse (to get the day off for her sister), Jan fumbles for a moment, then blurts out that there has been a death in the family. Actually, the only thing wrong in this family is that the cat is missing. In any case, people start coming over to express their concern and sympathy. The parents think they’re referring to the missing cat and the hilarious complications just continue to multiply!

All of the local actors; Laura Stacey as Jan (daughter), Melissa Grashof as Chris (sister), Devon Bradshaw as Frank (father), Elaine Knorr as Shirley (mother),  Doug Manning as Mr Quigley (employer), Sian Richards as Mrs Quigley, Caleb Fox as Tim (friend), and Collette Radau as Cindy (animal shelter employee), did an excellent job of acting, thanks to the patient,  enthusiastic directing of Mabel Hamilton and to the countless hours of memorizing lines and practicing the play by the cast from January onward to show time!

Congratulations to the cast, to the producers, Norm Westman and Shirley Adams, to the set builder, Dean Knorr, to Sheila Fagan for doing make-up and hair, to Adam Willert and Charlie Brittain for the lighting and sound set-up, and to the many other invisible hands that helped make this production a delightful evening out!

Thank you to Mabel Hamilton for facilitating potential actors to have the opportunity to perform before their community.  Another big thank you to Norm Westmin who begins to hunt for the “right play” each January, then assembles past and future St Andrew’s Players to his house for a “read through” of the script, with tea and goodies courtesy of Marg.

Four years ago,  Michael was conscripted to  play Bascolm, a guiding spirit who comes back to earth to try to reform an earthly friend in “Rest in Peace” by Pat Cook. The following year, I played Diane, Abby’s best friend in “Cemeteries are a Grave Matter” by Peg Kehert.

There is a mixture of terror and pleasure in performing before your family and friends: terror when a well-memorized line is nowhere to be found, pleasure when you get it right and hear the appreciation of the crowd! I am always fascinated to observe how a group of individuals coalesces into a “family” as they work together on the play, sharing laughs, disasters and triumphs! It is a great feeling!

The last few years, Michael’s health issues forced us to retreat from active parts, but it has been fun to help with practices, with the banquet, and all the other details that make this evening a memorable one for the people of this community. And who knows what next January will bring our way!                                                                 Pauline Parlee


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