Latest CAT play a belly full of laughs

The latest production by Central Alberta Theatre is a light-hearted comedy that will ensure lots of laughs.

Bloom, penned by Saskatchewan playwright Leeann Minogue and directed by Deb O’Brien, is being showcased in the Nickle Theatre March 7-9. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Alice Ridgeway, played by Debby Allan, and Olive Richards, played by Erna Soderberg, have been friends for more than 30 years. They have spent their lives in Stony Valley, a farming community. Alice has been recently widowed, and takes up walking to assuage her grief.

On one of her walks she is shocked to discover a marijuana grow-op in an old barn on her late husband’s farmland. She shares her discovery with her friend Olive. The plot thickens as they attempt to nurture the plants and keep their activities hidden while also preparing the town for the Communities in Bloom contest.

The pace of the first half of the play was a little slow, but it really picked up during the second half, especially when Soderberg began to become more comfortable with her character. She offered plenty of one-liners and lots of laughs.

Allan and Soderberg together are the perfect pair for this play. They have great chemistry on stage and you really believe that they are the best of friends. Both of these seasoned actresses hit their marks and were enjoyable to watch.

Before Bloom, a short play was also shown entitled Prelude to Thirty five, by Seth Kramer and directed by Nicole Leal.

Rae, played by Tara Rorke, would rather endure nine hours at a train station in a snowstorm with no coat than spend one more minute at Jay’s parents’ house. Jay, played by Jarrett Viscko, botches the job of running after Rae, and ends up with a bloody nose. All in all, a strange way to kick off an engagement.

Although the plot was cute, Rorke and Viscko’s characters were not quite believable enough.

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