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(Posted 4:30 a.m., July 14)

East End Theatre's newest production a flight of fancy
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

‘Here on the Flight Path’ features Marc Barrette as John Cummings and Erin McCloskey as Angel. The two other female leads are played by Robyn Glazer and Nancy Clue. Fred Sherwin/Photo


John Cummings is a recently divorced, middle-aged newspaper columnist who lives on the top floor of a four storey building smack dab in the middle of a flight path to a nearby airport.

From his balcony he can see his entire world – the store across the street, the pub next to the store and the Presbyterian Church next to the pub.

While the view never changes his next door neighbours do starting with Fay the “personal consultant” who charges $300 an “appointment”.

Not surprisingly, the idea of having a prostitute living next door to him is somewhat appealing to our stereotypical under-sexed, over-stimulated male hero, but the lady of the night nips any prospect of Cummings getting a “freebie” before he can yell “Four!”

Fay is the first in a line of three female neighbours Cummings befriends over the course of four years. Each helps him get over his failed marriage in their own way while transforming his view of the opposite sex through some type of weird osmosis.

The process as played out in the East End Theatre company’s production of Norm Foster’s play “Here On The Flight Path” on at the Orléans Theatre, is at times insightful, quite often funny and at points downright hilarious.
Marc Barrette plays John Cummings with just the right mix of modesty, naivité and sexual tension bordering on outright frustration.

Fay is played by Robin Glazer who makes her return to the stage after a 13-year hiatus. Despite the lengthy break, the Orleans Young Players alumnus showed no signs of stage rust during her performance Thursday night. Her final scene with Barrette – which I won’t give away here – is one of the highlights of the entire play.

The next woman who comes into Cummings’ life is Angel, played by Erin McCloskey. Angel is an aspiring singer and actress from Edmonton who’s motto is the song “Don’t Rain On My Parade” which she sings before going to her auditions.

Perhaps the directors hear her coming because she gets turned down again and again until she’s finally hired for a musical adaptation of Moby Dick entitled Positively Ahab in which see sings “Whale Be Together Again” with Captain Ahab while they’re lashed to the back of the whale.

Angel eventually has to return to Alberta when her banker father is charged for embezzlement.

She is then replaced by a Home Shopping Channel addict named Dennis who we don’t get to meet, followed by Gwen who recently moved to Toronto from Vancouver after breaking up with her husband of 20 years over her phobia of handkerchiefs.

Gwen is played by Nancy Clue who is a sheer delight. I especially liked the scene in which she had to act drunk.
Gwen and Cummings hit it off from day one and are soon sleeping together.

But just as Cummings thinks he’s found his soulmate, she comes to the realization that moving to Toronto and sleeping with him was a subconscious move to try get her ex-husband’s attention and she ups and moves back to Vancouver.

Rather than feel sorry for himself, Cummings realizes that he has changed through his relationships with his three
former neighbours and for the better.

“I’ve gone from being a carefree man with no direction in his life to a troubled man with no direction in his life. And by troubled I mean someone is looking for someone to get involved with again,” Cummings finally admits to himself.

There are a lot of great lines in “Here On The Flight Path” but you have to go see the play to hear them.

“Here On The Flight Path” continues tonight and tomorrow at the Orléans Theatre inside the Orléans Client Service Centre on Centrum Boulevard. Curtain time both nights is 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the show cost $15 each and are available at the door.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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