submitted by Keith Stanton
If the rehearsals are anything to go by, Theatre Night in Merrickville’s Spring 2017 production will have the audiences rolling in the aisles. “Self-Help by Dummiez”, written by T. Gregory Argall & Todd McGinnis (and produced by special arrangement with the authors and Playing After Dark), is a modern, Canadian, adult comedy to be presented May 12, 13 and 14. A perfect Mother’s Day treat!
The play is being directed by the very experienced Andrea Howard who has assembled a wonderful cast of seasoned actors. Howard says “we have been in rehearsal since mid-February, the cast is working very well together and there are lots of laughs”.
The action takes place in the waiting room of Dr. Enbridge (Will Jenkins), a rather self-absorbed psychologist. He is delayed, as usual. The patients begin to stack up, much to the dismay of his long-suffering and acid-tongued receptionist, Mrs. Winters (Anita Plunkett).
Some of the patients have been seeing Dr. Enbridge for years, others are new. Among them is a world-famous self-help guru, Michael Sage (Raymond Compton-Brown) with anger management issues, Chastity Gespate (Ann McLaughlan) a hypersexual virgin, Matt Portico (Stef Robar) a compulsive apologetic who is excessively shy around attractive women, Jerry Bond (Michael Phillips) a frustrated man ready to explode and Mrs.Quackenbush (Heddy Sorour-Roberts) a real weirdo.
They all have their own “quirks” and these emerge as the frustration over the doctor’s absence increases. There are lots of laughs and some surprises. It has to be noted that, during the play, walnuts in their shells are smashed on stage and swept up quite thoroughly. But if any audience members are seriously allergic to them, it is recommended that they sit in the back rows.
The set is designed by Andrea Howard and built by Rod Fournier, with embellishments by local artists. It will be an unusual set for TNIM, as will the placement of the audience risers, in order to create the feel of the waiting room…rats in a very nice cage.
Performances are Friday May 12 at 2 pm, Saturday May 13 at 2 pm and 8pm and Sunday May 14 at 2 pm at the Merrickville Community Centre, 106 Read St. Tickets are available on-line at www.merrickvilletheatre.org, or at Mrs McGarrigle’s Fine Foods and The Merrickville Book Emporium.