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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette



(Posted 11:30 a.m., March 1)

Orleans Older Players bake up entertaining murder mystery
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Orleans Older Players production of "Dying for a Cookie" features a veteran cast that includes the likes of Marni Hunt-Stphens (lef) and Sarah Benfield (right). Fred Sherwin Photo

The Orleans Older Players are at it again. The Orleans Young Players Theatre School's class for mature (as in their age) thespians have come up with another bit of quirkiness in their latest production "Dying for a Cookie: A Nanette Ninoon Mystery".

The play takes place in the Mega Magna Cookie Company which has fallen on hard times and has decided to hold a cookie contest in the hope of discovering the next great cookie.

The contestants are an eccentric bunch of budding bakers, to say least. There's the identical twin biker chicks, Em and Amy Goodwin, played by OOPS veterans Sue Ashton and Céline Nadeau; Alpha Main, a waitress and aspiring bakery owner, played by Sarah Benfield; perennial baking champion and cookbook author Calla Bean, played by another local theatre veteran Marni Hunt-Stephens who also wrote the script; and last, but not least, Morden Famsey, a nearsighted, obsessive/compulsive optometrist, who is played by David Shackleton.

The contestants are being judged by Nia Kosta, played by Susan Flemming, Paoli Borges, played by Andre Lacasse, and Tanya "Tan" Lee, played Pam Ryan.

Biz MacDonald plays Vanessa E. Artifey who is running the contest, while Lyne Shackleton rounds out the cast as detective and Queen of the puns Nanette Ninoon.

The production is an entertaining mix of song, humour and drama provided by the demise of Paoli Borges who eats a poisoned cookie.

As it turns out, all five contestants have a motive. The victim refused to endorse Calla Bean's latest cook book. He neglected to leave Alpha Main a tip when she served him at the restaurant she worked at. And he rejected a crossword submitted by Em and Amy Goodwin's father for a new crossword book, leaving only Morden Famsey, the nearsighted optometrist who is obsessed with order, lacking a motive.

Although Detective Ninoon's is quick to pick up on the natural order of the judging panel -- NIA Kosta (Nea), loves strawberry, Paoli Borges (poli) prefers chocolate and Tan Lee's (tan) favourite ingredient is vanilla (Nea-ploi-tan) -- the matching flavours force the obsessive Famsey off the deep end, because as any fan of neapolitan ice cream will attest, vanilla is always in the middle.

In "Dying for a Cookie", Hunt Stephens delivers yet another wonderfully eccentric and whimsical story that the OOPS class brings to life in their own marvelously quirky way.

Showtimes are at at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 16in the Richcraft Theatre of the Shenkmand Arts Centre. Tickets are $10 each and are available at the door.

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



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