Rehearsals are well underway for Heartland Arts Troupe’s dinner theatre production of Too Many Cooks – set to hit the stage in November.
The popular Canadian production, penned by Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes, runs at the Stettler Community Hall Nov. 10-13 with tickets available at Wells Furniture.
Tickets are $60 a piece, and that includes a full meal, too.
“It’s extremely funny,” explained director Jane Skocdopole, adding that there are some adult themes throughout. “It takes place in Niagara Falls in the 1930s – at the height of prohibition,” she added. “There was a lot of booze – and shenanigans – going back and forth between the United States and Canada, and Niagara Falls, because of its location, was prime real estate for that.”
The plot follows a man and his daughter – Mr. Bubbalowe (Wayne Smith) and Honey (Jessica Harvey) – who are going to open up an old hotel and restaurant that was previously owned by Bubbalowe’s aunt.
“She ran it clean – without booze – and he plans to do the same thing.”
But little does he know, one of the staffers is shipping in 500 cases of bootleg booze that was stolen from one gang boss for another.
Things get a tad zany to say the least as Bubbalowe navigates the hilarious twists and turns of a rollicking and unexpected turn of events. “Now this little hotel in Niagara Falls has been drawn into a turf war over booze between two opposing gangsters!”
Rounding out the cast are Malcolm Fischer, Andrea Muhlbach, Alicia Kneeland-Teasdale, Michael Nizio, Colin Malin and Bryan Rairdan.
According to concordtheatricals.com, Too Many Cooks was first presented at the Lighthouse Festival in Port Dover, Ontario, on July 23rd, 2003.
Meanwhile, Scocdopole has been involved with theatre since her teen years, she explained, as both director and actor.
As to the Heartland Arts Troupe, she’s been a part of the fun for about 27 years.
“I love the process of working with actors, and seeing what they can pull out of the script,” she said of directing a show.
“Between that collaboration of actor and director, you are able to build this amazingly funny thing that brings people into this other world,” she added. “I just love it.
“Every show is different with every actor and with different audiences, too. I also just see it as a great collaboration between the written word, the director and the actor.
“And I think the actor truly brings the most to it. If you get a brave actor that is willing to put themselves out there, and a director that is willing to play, you get a far greater show,” she explained.
As for hitting the stage in a particular role, Scocdopole explained that the challenge and fun of it springs from the fact that it’s almost like standing outside of yourself. You can let loose and essentially be ‘someone else’.
“You also develop this bond with your cast-mates through the written word and the relationship with the audience. That of course is always changing, so it’s a very exciting and energizing process as well.
“I like both – I like directing, but I’m a little bit fussy so I have to find the right kind of a script that is funny but has a message to it as well. This script has lots of themes that will resonate today,” she said, adding that the whole experience of putting on a show is ultimately an amazing thing.
“Some of it is inexplicable – I don’t know how some of this magic happens. Again, this is a very seasoned cast – and very hard-working.
“They’re very brave people who want to make people laugh. And mostly, we all look at this as community-building, too. It’s about doing something for the community – so they can come out and laugh, and feel that camaraderie. All the barriers and differences melt away.
“I’m looking forward to the great fun – to the great Teresa’s Catering meal, the great performances and the laughs that we are all going to have,” she said.
“I’m also just really looking forward to having us all back together again.”