Central Alberta Theatre is delving into a brand new year’s selection of dinner theatres with Fishing for Frank.
The production opens Jan. 6 at City Centre Stage downtown. Evening show buffets run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with curtain at 7:30 p.m. Sunday brunch shows start with the meal at 12:30 p.m. with curtain at 2 p.m.
Penned by Daniel Lillford and directed by CAT veteran Erna Soderberg, the play focuses on Ed and Dick (Jim Claggett and Mike Sutherland) who have just returned from their buddy Frank’s funeral and are about to go trout fishing.
But before they venture out into the lovely Nova Scotian countryside, there are a few words that need to be said about the deceased, his wife, a hornet’s nest as big as a Honda Civic, a few of the local churches and some of the people that live in this small country town.
The guys chat about all of the above with gusto and there is lots of gossip to go around, chuckles Soderberg. Of course, they also decry how much gossip exists in society. But the conversations between the two men are hugely entertaining, and Claggett and Sutherland bring plenty of hilarity and heart to their respective roles. Both have delighted audiences in previous dinner theatre productions, as have Dale Latam and Cynthia Edwards who round out the cast.
Audiences are treated to the views of the ladies as well.
“The second half of the first act is the girls talking,” says Soderberg. And talk they do, covering everything from church to federal politics to trying to figure out what’s going on with other town locals.
Ultimately, Fishing for Frank is described as a ‘play about gossip, hearsay, innuendo, half-truths and plain old-fashioned lies – an outrageous comedy about life, love and trout.’ Soderberg knew from the get-go the humour would hit the mark with audiences.
“Every line was funny to me,” she says of the play’s appeal.
A talented actor in her own right, she says both acting and directing offer fulfillment. She relishes the chance to guide actors along and see her vision for a play come to fruition, and she enjoys the collaborative process with casts. Ideas are always welcome. Still, she knows what she wants, and also has a knack for bringing the finest out of her casts.
“I love being on stage, and I love making people laugh. But if I can direct a play that makes people laugh, then I’ve also contributed through that as well.”
Fishing for Frank runs through to Jan. 29. Next up for CAT’s dinner theatre series is Booster Crane which opens Feb. 10.
For tickets, drop by Ticket Central at 4922 – 49 St., call 403-347-0800, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ticketcentraloutlet.ca.