p.m., Dec. 4)
Peter Knights lose in final of Bill Wren Classic
By Fred Sherwin
Peter Knights centre Jordan Kirchberger lets a shot go against the St. Francis
Xavier Tigers in the senior final of the Bill Wren Classic basketball tournament
on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
The St. Peter
Knights senior boys basketball team showed why they're one of the preseason
picks to go deep in the playoffs this year after they finished second at the
Bill Wren Classic on the weekend.
The Knights made
short work of the rest of the competition in their pool before registering
a convincing 53-41 win over Rock Hanson in semi-final to earn a crack at last
year's tournament champions from St. Francis Xavier High School in Mississauga
in the final.
St. Pete's countered
the small but quick Tigers squad with their superior size through the first
two quarters and by halftime the score was tied 28-28, with Brendon Anderson
accounting for 15 of the Knights' 28 points..
it was all downhill from there as the Knights suddenly went ice cold. With
the game tied 32-32, they failed to score on their next six trips down the
floor while St. Francis went on a 15-0 run to take a commanding 47-32 lead
into the final quarter.
eventually stopped the bleeding with a layup at the 6:18 mark of the fourth
quarter that sparked a 6-0 run by the Knights, but by then it was too little,
The Tigers eventually
won the game 67-53. The Knights' top scorer was Anderson with 25 points, while
Kirchberger finished the game with 15 points.
The Knights junior
fell a game short in their quest to make the tournament final when they lost
61-45 to Immaculata who, in turn, lost St. Francis Xavier in the junior final.
hosts had a rough weekend. The St. Matt's senior team failed to make it out
of their pool after going 2-1 in round robin action. The defending city champions
ended up losing a tiebreaker by a single point to Rick Hanson and Louis Riel
who were also 2-1 in the round robin portion of the tournament.
The high school
basketball season gets underway this week with action on Tuesday and Thursday.
St. Matt's will be looking to defend their AAA title, while the Knights will
be gunning to regain it back after lop" HEIGHT="59">
Whittington, played by Sam Stephens and Tommy the Cat played by Miranda
Tofflemire prepare to set sail during the East End Theatre's traditional
pantomime production of 'Dick Whittington and his Cat' on this weekend at
the Orleans Theatre. Fred Sherwin/Photo
One of my
favourite Christmas traditions is the East End Theatre Companys annual
pantomime production which in the past have included Aladdin,
Jack and the Beanstalk, and Mother Goose.
This year the
amateur theatre company tackles the lesser known of the traditional pantomimes
"Dick Whiittington and his Cat", which is being performed this
weekend at the Orléans Theatre.
dates back to Victorian England where it was a popular diversion from the
drudgery of daily life. Often described as the original variety show, true
pantomime is a mix of comedy, song, audience participation, slapstick humour,
puns and, of course, a villain.
and his Cat" measures up on all fronts, although for my money the second
half of the play during Friday night's performance was much more entertaining
than the first.
During the first
half of the play the audience is introduced to the main characters including
Dick Whittington, who in traditional pantomime fashion is played by a female
lead in this case Orleans Young Players instructor Samantha Stephens.
The role of his trusted cat Tommy is played by Miranda Tofflemire.
The other main
characters include Alice Fitzwarren played by Kelsey Grady-Willett; her
father Alderman Fitzwarren, played by East End Theatre veteran Peter Frayne
and Captain Cockle played by Marc Barrette.
But the two key
players who deserve a lot of the credit for the play's success are David
Ferguson who was originally supposed to play the role of Mr. Mussel, but
was pressed into double duty when Dan Ferguson, who was to have played Idle
Jack, he fell ill on Thursday. But rather than have David play two separate
characters, they combined the two roles into one.
The last minute
revision was pulled off brilliantly as only a veteran comedic character
actor like David Ferguson could have. In fact, his scene with Peter Courtney,
who plays Dame Sarah Suet, in which Idle Jack is attempting to make on move
on her while Captain Cockle explains to Sam Seaweed how to fix a wench,
is one of the funniest things I've seen on stage in a long time.
The only thing
funnier was later on in the play when Sarah who's dressed up as a slave
girl, sings "I'm so excited" with the cheeky Sultan, played by
Chris Mainwood. Funny doesn't even begin to describe the spectacle.
But no pantomime
is worth it's salt without a dastardly villain to draw the boos and hisses
from the crowd and panto veteran Ron Kok is about as dastardly as the come
as the cunning and conniving King Rat.
First, King Rat
tries to have Dick banished from London by making it look like Dick tried
to steal a bag of gold that was supposed to be used to pay the crew and
then he plots to sink the ship which is carrying rat poison to Morocco.
(How do I explain
this. Alderman Fitzwarren owns the store which agrees to supply the Sultan
of Morocco with rat poison in order to get of their rat problem. Dick Whittington
and Tommy end up going along for the voyage after Fitzwarren realizes that
Idle Jack and Sarah were tricked into planting the bag of gold in Dick's
pack. All the players including Alderman Fitzwarren, Alice, Idle Jack and
Sarah are part of the ship's crew. Whew!)
scene Idle Jack Mussel, played by David Ferguson, tries to come on to Sarah
Suet, played by Peter Courtney, is one of the funniest moments in the East
End Theatre production of 'Dick Whittington and his Cat'. Fred Sherwin/Photo
After King Rat
manages to sink the ship, they all survive but the rat poison is lost, which
is where Dick and Tommy come in. Without the rat poison, it's up to the
two friends to defeat King Rat and his band of rodents and rid Morocco of
their pestilence. In exchange for defeating King Rat, the Sultan gives Dick
half of his fortune. When the gang returns to England, Dick marries the
lovely Alice and thrice becomes Lord Mayor of London.
Music is the
key ingredient to any successful pantomime and "Dick Whittington and
his Cat" is no exception. One of favourite moments of the play is when
King Rat and fellow rodents dance to Michael Jackson's "Bad".
Sam Stephens was also in fine voice during Dick's solo "If I Ruled
The World" and backed up by the chorus in "Once In A Lifetime".
My only real
criticism of the play was that the first half didn't quite live up to the
same high standards set by the East End Theatre Company's previous panto
productions, but I believe that has more to do with the pace of the script
than the actual performances on stage, which were superb throughout.
The good news
is that the second half of the play more than made up for the slow start.
In a word, it was side-splittingly hilarious and well worth the price of
if you want to see the play, you only have two performances left -- tonight
at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee performance tomorrow (Sunday, Dec. 14 ) at 2 p.m.
The Orleans Theatre is located in the old Cumberland Town Hall building
on Centrum Blvd. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children.
Besides the cast
members already mentioned the rest of the players include Liz Bakken as
Fairy Bow Bells, Conrad Hladik as the the Town Crier, Gilles Bellefeuille
as Werafez, Aidan Thies-Thompson as El Macho and Joanne Mainwood as Tuffazel.
The chorus members
which at various times played the rats, the sailors, the villagers and the
harem girls, included Grace Fox, Amantha Chan, Alexa Hupe, Camille Daly,
Samantha Chan, Zoe Kok, Emily Nasmith, Kathleen Courtney, Page Kendall,
Danica Tofflemire, Kristen Mainwood, Elias Kok, Alison Courtney, Graham
Mainwood, Meghan Payant, and Emily Ouellette.
The musical accompaniment
was provided by Pat Messier on organ and Troy Tofflemire on guitar. The
play was directed by Diane Barnett and stage managed by Sally Osborne.
For more information
about the East End Theatre Company's upcoming productions visit www.eastendtheatre.com.
veteran Ron Kok (right) plays the dastardly King Rat in the East End Theatre
production of 'Dick Whittington and his Cat' on this weekend at the Orleans
Theatre. Fred Sherwin/Photo
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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