(Posted 9 p.m., Oct. 27)
crumby about John Cook's latest production 'Crackers'
By Fred Sherwin
wonder what it must be like being an exotic bird plucked
out of the Amazon jungle and placed in a cage as a pet
for a middle class Canadian family? Or think about the
weird and amusing things they must witness from their
Orléans playwrite John Cook has and the result is
an amusing and whimsical one act play entitled "Crackers".
is a red-plumed parrot who grew up in the Pleasant Pet
Palace and Emporium before his owner brought him home.
is his mysterious new housemate. An Amazon blue, he was
plucked from the jungle by exotic bird smugglers.
Brown and Mike Kosowan (right)play birds of
a feather Eric and Salvador in Orléans
playwrite John Cooh's latest production 'Crackers'.
spends his days watching soap operas and reading the newspaper
clippings that line the bottom of his cage.
Salvador tells Eric he wants to learn how to read too,
it triggers Eric's memory of his former housemate Petey's
taught Petey how to read, but rather than keep his newly-acquired
talent a secret, Petey decided to be a show off and was
eventually taken away by a bunch of men in white suits
hid in my cage and did nothing when they took him away.
I should have tried to fight them off," Eric tells
Salvador, which is when the audience learns that Eric's
cage is never locked and he can fly away whenever he wants,
but never wants to.
the play is performed in one act, it is told in two intertwined
scenes. The main scene revolves around the interaction
between Eric and Salvador in their two cages. The secondary
scene takes place in the office of a gangster named Hank
who needs to take care of a "problem".
it turns out the problem is Salvador. Hank is about to
go on trial for a number of offences including durg-dealing
and racketeering. When he finds out his lawyer can't buy
off the judge or the jury he kills his lawyer and hides
the gun under the floor boards.
spills the beans to the cops and has to be placed in the
witness protection program, which is how he ended up in
the cage beside Eirc. Eric's owner Bill is a former cop.
Hank finds out where Salvador is hiding, he sends his
henchman Stinky to bump him off, but as he's about to
do the job, Eric flies out of his cage and fights him
off until the police arrive.
the final scene, Eirc says goodbye to Salvador who is
free to go back to his home in the Amazon where there
is a chica on every branch.
invites Eric to go with him, but Eric decides to stay
fresh with with a newly-found appreciation for the freedom
that exists beyond his cage.
is a fun story brought to life by a talented group of
actors starting with Dave Browm and Mike Kosowan who play
Eric and Salvador. Victor Lachance plays Hank, Francis
Kenney is Stinky, Tyler Smith plays Hank's lawyer Rudy
and Erin MacDonald plays Det. Watt.
is hoping to reprise the play at next year's Fringe Festival.
If the Fringe folks have any sense, they'll send him an
invitation tomorrow. They're crackers if they don't.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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