St. Albert Theatre Troupe opens battle of the sexes

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A wife comes home from a business trip to discover hubby holding a blow-up doll wearing her dress. Is it kinky sex or is there a simpler explanation?

St. Albert Theatre Troupe’s second play of the season, Buying the Moose, is a comedy of errors that refines the art of miscommunication.

London, Ontario playwright Michael Wilmott has developed the perfect opening into what could turn out to be one of the company’s funniest shows of the season.

Directed by Jeffrey Bannister, the play deals with the way men and women communicate or miscommunicate with each other.

Wilmott pares the debate down to two couples – one in turmoil, the other unwittingly snared in the squabble.

“The two men spend the play trying to figure out what went wrong and the two women try to figure out what is wrong with men,” said director Jeffrey Bannister.

Bannister is a St. Albert resident whose Paul Kane High directed play Hope and Mercy won “four Bests” at the One-Act Festival.

“When I read Buying the Moose, I saw little bits of myself in all the characters. They are very real people you could run into. And I really liked the script. It was very well crafted,” Bannister added.

In a comedy, a director can chose to present any number of visions.

“I wanted to give the characters dignity and humanity. I could have done it slapstick or with cartoonish characters, but I think the real humour comes from treating them like people, not cartoon characters.”

Julio Matea plays Rob, the hapless husband.

“His facial expressions and energy are a dream. And he has a great sense of humour. You can empathize with him. He plays an everyday Joe caught up in something beyond his understanding. He’s a well-meaning man trying to do everything to make it right.”

Michelle Valentia plays Betty, the horror-struck wife who isn’t quite sure if she’s married a pervert.

“Betty is five years into the marriage. She loves her husband. But she’s also strait-laced and has an edge.”

Rob confides in his brother Greg, played by Ramev Fawzy, who tries to ferret what really happened.

“Greg is the older brother and like any older brother, he never lets you live down a mistake. He tries to pry and constantly busts Rob’s balls.”

Meanwhile, Cheryl (Greg’s wife), played by Shelby Bryan offers Betty a shoulder to cry on.

“Shelby has a very maternal, calm demeanour. Betty is all fire. Cheryl is the calming force.”

Buying the Moose is clearly an outrageous situation that highlights the different mentalities of the sexes.

“What makes this play special is how the actors deliver their characters. I don’t know if I could have it with anyone else.”

Preview

Buying the Moose
St. Albert Theatre Troupe
Feb 16 to 18, 23 to 25 and March 2 to 4
Kinsmen Banquet Hall
47 Riel Dr.
Tickets: $55 regular, $50 seniors and students
Call 780-222-0102 or visit www.stalbertheatre.com

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About Author

Anna Borowiecki

Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.