Nov 19, 2012

 Scribbles Reviews The Dunnville Community Theatre's Production of "Curtain Up!"

There's something about watching a live production at the Dunnville Community Theatre that always brings to mind the story of the Little Engine That Could. You know the one...the small train engine who bravely does what the big engines couldn't, carrying a heavy load to the top of the mountain, all the while repeating to itself  "I think I can, I think I can".

In many ways, the Dunnville Community Theatre (DCT) reminds me a lot of that little engine. The close-knit community group may be small and may not have massive resources, but that never seems to stand in the way when it comes to bringing big production values to its slightly weathered stage.

Proof that DCT's vocabulary doesn't include the word "can't" was evident in its latest live show Curtain Up! The British comedy by Peter Quilter tells the story of Michael, a recently deceased theatre owner, who leaves the dilapidated building to the five women in his life, his wife, daughter, mother, ex-wife and secretary. Hilarity follows as the 5 women quarrel over ways of bringing revenue back to the theatre. When Liza Minelli agrees to a one night performance, the ladies are elated at the prospects - that is until the night of the event when Minelli cancels, leaving them scrambling for a way to keep the show from going bust.

Breathing life and believability into the characters were Kathryn Stengel as Michael's wife Pam, Carolyn Jones as his daughter Theresa, Maureen Jones at his mother Betty, Shayna Maloney as secretary Sharon and Julie Turner as ex-wife Jackie.

It didn't take long for the audience to become captivated with the characters as they laughed, cried, danced and aerobicized their way through the clever storyline.

And while each performer held her own, Maureen Jones often stole the scene with impromptu antics which included a birds eye view of what lay beneath her wardrobe. LOL!

In the Curtain Up programme, director (and Scribbles enthusiast) Nancy Erskine [left] referred to the play as a love letter to the theatre.

"It is a communal experience that we share - as artists and audience", says Nancy, "And Curtain Up! exemplifies the joy and spirit the theatre has to offer everyone".

"We can come here and simply be...entertained" she later concluded.

That's something the Dunnville Community Theatre have continued to do for 40 years now. This little engine truly knows it can.....and thankfully for us, shows no sign of running out of steam anytime soon.

"IT CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH" - by Eric Chappell
April 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 2013
(Dinner Theatre April 20th)

January 8th and 10th 2013 from 7:30 - 9:00 PM