Laughs cued up for Valentine's Day
Theatre troupe explores coming of middle age
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 06:00 am
Wife Begins at Forty
St. Albert Theatre Troupe
Feb. 14-16, 21-23 and March 1-2
Doors 6 p.m., dinner 6:45 p.m., and show at 8 p.m.
47 Riel Dr.
Tickets: $47.50 + GST. Visit www.stalbertheatre.com
Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is all about flowers, chocolates and – if you’re luck holds out – a skin-to-skin romp in the sack.
Not so with St. Albert Theatre Troupe’s new Valentine offering, Wife Begins at Forty opening Thursday, Feb. 14 at the Kinsmen Korral.
Playwrights Arne Sultan, Earl Barret and Ray Cooney reinforce the idea that marriages need work, and over time renegotiation is necessary to maintain strong relationships.
In this happily-ever-after comedic scheme of things George and Linda Harper’s 17-year marriage is past its sell-by date. Linda (Beverly Luckett-Nafe) wants sex, excitement and changes. George (Trevor Lawless) is barely aware of her physical needs what with running a business and bills to pay.
When hit with the problem, he gets a vasectomy. She enrolls in self-improvement courses. Nothing works. They agree to a friendly divorce and hire their closest friend to help – with disastrous results.
The comedy ball continues rolling with a botched seduction, a doddering father-in-law, a teenage son in tow and a dog underfoot.
“It’s a very physical comedy with lots of challenges for the actors,” says director Katie Elliott.
She describes tumbles over the dog and the overwrought couple trying to find private time only to be interrupted by their son Leonard (Adrienne McGarrigle).
“It’s really a coming-of-age story. Usually a coming-of-age story deals with young kids. This is a coming-of-age of a woman past being a mother and how she’s trying to live a new life and not everyone around her understands.”
Trevor Lawless as George has a demanding role as the husband faced with a life-changing dilemma.
“He’s the person trying to keep it all together. He’s focused on the house and he’s worked very hard to make a secure life for the family. He doesn’t understand what she (Linda) wants. She just wants action and romance.”
As a counterpoint to the failing marriage, the teenager Leonard gets involved with Geraldine, a young woman with a car and a nest of her own.
“There’s one good scene where George bestows some friendly fatherly advice, but Leonard just doesn’t want to hear it,” Elliott says.
Other St. Albert actors in the production are Kelly Aisenstat as the fuddy-duddy father, Rita Jensen as Gertie the dog, Mark McGarrigle as Roger Dixon and Sandra McCallum as Betty Dixon.
“This is a show that could be set in St. Albert,” Elliott says. “Families here work hard to build a safe house and a beautiful garden. Sometimes to be happy people need to find something that isn’t so safe and secure.”