Central Alberta Theatre is serving up a pleasant treat with its seasonal production of My Three Angels.
Directed by Heather Shatford, the production continues its run at the Memorial Centre Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 6-7 with curtain at 7:30 p.m. A matinee performance runs Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. as well.
In Samuel and Bella Spewack’s comedy, set in 1910, Joseph, Jules and Alfred aren’t having much of a Christmas. Played by Martin Kvapil, Michael Sutherland and Konstantin Vorosmarty respectively, they are Devil’s Island convicts on a work-release program, spending the holiday fixing the roof at the Ducotels’ home near French Guiana.
But that hole in the roof is a gateway to some fascinating information on the family inside. They learn that Felix (perfectly captured in Ron Vocke’s engaging interpretation), the husband and father, is a nice guy but an awful businessman.
Thickening the plot further is that a bossy, evil-minded cousin Henri (Jeff Challoner) is coming from France to oust the father of the family from his business, and his self-absorbed nephew Paul (Quentin Coish) who is jilting the father’s sweet daughter, Marie Louise (Tori Darr), for an heiress.
The prisoners, good-hearted chaps in spite of their past crimes, decide to help solve the family’s problems via their own devious, hilarious tactics.
Shatford has nicely brought out the best in her cast, who bring various levels of experience to the show. Challoner can always be counted on to stir up lots of laughs with his sharp, well-timed performances. The same can be said for Sutherland – always fun to watch with his energetic, expressive approach to nailing virtually every character he plays. Also deserving of special attention is Nicole Orr as Emilie, Felix’s wife. Orr is a joy to watch – punctuating every line she says with plenty of vigour. Challoner, Sutherland and Orr are all confident actors, and it shows. They’re having fun with their roles, making them connect that much more with audiences.
That said, pretty everyone else does just fine, too. Kvapil and Vorosmarty are great as the other two convicts, and Darr is solid as the charming Marie Louise. There’s a tentativeness with some of the less experienced actors, but as the performances roll on hopefully that will be cleared up. Travis Johnson and Rachelle McComb (as the lieutenant and Madame Parole) are also good in their roles, although with comparatively minor parts they don’t have a whole lot to do.
A warm, nicely designed set adds much to the show’s success as well. Ultimately, Shatford deserves credit for building a gently entertaining show, bringing out the nuances of a smartly-written script.
Tickets are available by calling the Black Knight Inn at 403-755-6626 or 1-800-661-8793 or visiting www.blackknightinn.ca.