1 p.m., Feb. 27)
OOPS does it again with clever, original production
By Fred Sherwin
newcomer Francine Hopley plays Desireé
Fabergé in the amateur theatre company's
production of 'Showdown at the OOPS Corral'.
Orléans Older Players return to the stage this
Saturday with their latest production Showdown
at the OOPS Corral.
is a collection of amateur theatre enthusiasts who meet
every Monday evening to share their love of the performing
arts under the instruction and direction of Susan Flemming.
four-month long course is conducted over two sessions
(Sept.-Feb. and March -June) with each session culminating
in a live performance.
group decides on a theme at the beginning of the course
and then work in collaboration in developing the plot
at the OOPS Corral features a lot of familiar faces,
including Tina Chan whose appeared in every OOPS production
since the course was first introduced in 2008 to give
parents of Orléans Young Players Theatre School
students a chance to act on stage. In
Showdown, Chan plays a saloon owner with a
play is set in saloon/gambling house/hat shoppe in a frontier
town called Disappointment, Pop. 7.
Back Bacon Saloon, Gambling Emporium and Hat Shoppe is
owned by a Klementyna Smirnofia, a Russian woman with
a large diamond pendant, and frequented by characters
with equally mysterious pasts. As it turns out, they are
all wanted for committing a variety of crimes from stealing
a ham sandwich to causing the death of P.T. Barnums
star attraction, Dumbo the elephant.
a criminal past they also share a desire to possess Klementynas
diamond pendant, which culminates in a rather noisy final
scene. But Im getting ahead of myself.
play opens with the characters lying in various forms
of prostration under a sign identifying the set of the
previously mentioned establishment. Out of the shadows
emerges one Nellie Stringer, a newspaper reporter played
by Sarah Benfield, who gives a brief history of the town
and the saloon before announcing the first act.
of the rest of the play is spent on character development
as the audience is cleverly introduced to the various
players one by one using a large Wanted frame
and a glaring spot light.
is Klementyna, of course, who jumps off a train as its
passing by the town to escape charges for allegedly stealing
a ham sandwich. When she jumps, she lands in creek where
she rather gratuitously finds a large diamond.
Farmer, who is played by Sophia Sudnikowicz, is the resident
cook who went on the lame after dumping a chicken pot
pie on a food critic.
and Emerald Nickels, played by OOPS veterans Céline
Nadeau and Sue Ashton, are a sister act who are wanted
stealing a horse; and Pentimento Dorrito, played by another
OOPS veteran, André Lacasse, is the bartender who
is on the run after smashing bunch of alarm clocks that
put the professional waker-upper out of business.
theres Desireé Fabergé, played admirably
by the lone OOPS rookie in the cast, Francine Hopley.
Fabergé is a hat-maker whos wanted for assaulting
a fellow milliner for making knock-offs of her original
rest of the cast is rounded out by Karen Bolt, who plays
Cora Brewster, a cattle rancher wanted for branding other
peoples cattle; Sebastien Melbourne who plays Jake
The Snake Slocum, wanted for causing the death
of Dumbo when he led the pachyderm across a railway track;
and Trish Golden who plays Molly Bates, a bounty hunter
hot on the trail of the fugitives at large.
at the OOPS Corral can be seen on Sunday, Sept. 24at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Richcraft Theatre
at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Tickets are $10 for adults
and $5 for students and children under 12.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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