A Ham Sandwich, made with Texas toast - Flin Flon’s longest-running theatre group is back this week with their holiday season production, a slapstick comedy set in the middle of the Lone Star State.
This season, the group is taking on “A Doublewide, Texas Christmas” by playwrights Nicholas Hope, Jessie Jones and Jamie Wooten. First performed in 2017, the show centres around the fictional hamlet in the play’s title - Doublewide, Texas, population 10, most of which are shown during the play itself. Those 10 Doublewide denizens are shown going through the holiday rush before Christmas while going through a legal battle with the county, the regional “Battle of the Mangers” nativity scene competition and an exceptional dose of holiday insanity.
Long-time Ham Sandwich player Diane Therien is in the director’s chair for this production. She said that the show is mostly family appropriate and it is a production that leans heavily on slapstick and physical comedy - things that have taken time for the cast to perfect.
“We had a good turnout at auditions, which were early in September. We've been rehearsing three times a week since mid-September and because of the physical comedy and kind of slapstick, you need to have a lot of rehearsal so you can get the timing down right,” said the director.
“It's been a lot of work.”
That cast includes a long list of Flin Flon stage regulars and new faces in a wide variety of roles. Ham Sandwich vet Joe Buie plays Big Earl Satterwhite, Doublewide’s erstwhile community nurse, while Tanisha Weseen plays the character of Georgia Dean Rudd.
Piper Sapergia-Green plays young mother and recent Doublewide transplant Lark Barken, while John Taylor shows up as southern gentleman Haywood Sloggett, Alain Lachapelle as Norwayne “Baby” Crumpler, Cheryl Feszczyn as Doublewide mayor Joveeta Crumpler and Lana Leclerc - clad in heavy aging makeup - as her 70-something mother Caprice. The play itself is set in and around Joveeta’s mobile home in the days leading up to Christmas.
Jen Beckingham will take on the role of Patsy Sloggett, while Mark Wendlandt plays Nash Sloggett - the voice of Syd Tippett will go toward unseen character Harley Dobbs.
Therien said audience members or anyone thinking of going to the show will leave either night entertained, while not revealing too many details of exactly what theatregoers can expect on show night.
“I would want them to know that they're going to be thoroughly entertained. They're going to laugh. They're going to get a song put into their head that they're going to go home and say ‘What were the words to that song? I know the tune, but I can't remember what words they put in there,’” said Therien.
“Come expecting to laugh. It’s funny. It’s a bit hokey and redneck-ish, but it’s going to be a fun, fun evening. It’s a good show.”
The play hits the stage at the R.H. Channing Auditorium Nov. 25-26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or at the Uptown Emporium.