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Tipling Stage Company opens to standing ovation with Fishing Derby

February 27, 2016   ·   0 Comments

The Tipling Stage Company “hooked” the audience at their opening night performance of The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby on February 19, taking their bows to a standing ovation for the opening of their 2016 season.

Director Jean Jardine Miller did an excellent job casting Hollis McCauley – a script that not only suited the actors, but the audience as well.

Popular Canadian Playwright Norm Fosters’ comedy about an annual fishing derby, brings five comically contrasting and appealing characters to life against the background of a sleepy, cottage-country village. All the actors Friday night did a great job finding themselves in the characters and reacting and playing off each actor’s particular – and sometimes peculiar – personalities.

Foster, known for his long string of stage hits, pleases his audiences with familiar and quirky characters in situations ripe for comedy.

This is not just a big fish tale, but the tale of one particular big fish, fondly named Hollis McCauley after a high school shop teacher.

Hollis is an elusive fish, with a prize purse that has grown to $92,000 simply because no one can ever catch him…or can they?

The comedy centres around a pompous city investment banker whose car breaks down leaving him stranded in the tiny town.

The cast features all local talent, with Michelle Graham, playing grocery store owner Sienna, giving an impressive first time performance, and Darrick Rosborough creating a likeable James Bell – the pompous investment banker.

Although, he probably missed the mark convincing the audience he was “pompous” in the early scenes, Rosborough embodied the appealing persona necessary for the plot to play out.

Kelly McDowell, as Rhonda Borkowski, gave another solid performance as a long-time member of the Tipling Stage Company, pulling out all the comedic stops and cracking up the audience every time she delivered the line, “Hi, there!”

Paul Welch, as Kirk Douglas, could be cast as CBC’s Red Green’s twin brother anytime; he had the audience laughing with nearly every line. Sohayla Smith, another new performer in the troop, was a natural fit as Melanie Morningside, and displayed some cool vocal chops, along with Josh Oatman, when the two sang and played guitar in a charming musical prelude to the performance.

The audience buzz at intermission was very positive: good cast, good direction, good set – and the key to it all – a good script worthy of the talent.

The show can only get better from here as the cast continues to gain confidence, tighten cues and risk a faster pace to heighten the comic timing. An impressive job by all and to be recommended as a fun night out at Grace Tipling Hall.

There is only this weekend left to get tickets for Tipling Stage Company’s production of The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby, which are on sale at Holmes Appliances and Music Shop on Main Street Shelburne, Shelburne IDA and Shelburne Town Hall (519-925-2600) as well as on line at www.tiplingstagecompany.com.

Evening shows begin at 8pm on February 26 and 27.

Tickets, which are $15, are also available at the door.

By Marni Walsh

 

         

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