A Bunch of Old Folk Bumble their Way Through Sadie Flynn
ORILLIA (Staff) A group of age 50 and 60 plus old folks- all claiming to be actors, will throw down their canes and walkers and perform the hilarious Norm Foster Comedy- Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak starting May 30th at the Stubley Auditorium at St James in Downtown Orillia.
The Garage Door Players have been entertaining locally for a decade now and although many of the members of this close-knit troupe still claim to be young and vibrant, the proof is in the pudding- or should we say pablum!
“It’s the first time such a bunch of old cronies have attempted to keep up the pace and present this engaging comedy” says Director Rob Reid- himself an old fart. “We’ve had some problems with actors dozing off mid-dialogue, excessive flatulence and forgetting rehearsals- stuff like that. However, the most annoying of all is the constant smell of Mentholatum Deep Heat Rub and peppermint losenges that permeates the rehearsal hall’s air.” added Reid. “We open a window from time to time and spray some Airwick around- Lavender scented, yet still the air quality’s a little dubious when an actor or crew member lets one go.”
Reid says that some rehearsals have had to be cancelled mid-way through, due to the gaseous fumes in the room. The Company has been asked not to light matches or rub two sticks together at any time during the rehearsals. “There’s no telling what could happen if there was a spark at the right moment. When you look at the ages here...”- he says with a twinkle in his near-sighted eyes, “You can see the problems of old age and sedentary ways make rehearsing a challenge at times.”
Most playwrights- whose works are performed by all ages, are unified when they say that the theatrical world does not and should not discriminate against old theatrical companies-such as The Garage Door Players, due to age, saggy breasts, trousers hitched high to arm-pit level or flatulence during shows. One playwright’s representative did say that during a comedic piece a perfectly timed fart can add to the frivolity of the evening, although it is quite the opposite of a basket of sweet smelling primroses. Quite the opposite indeed.
Getting so many old people together consistently in one spot has been a trial. Being old herself, Sadie Flynn’s Producer Andrea Lee-Burnet says if audience members squint during the show, the actors will all look like they’re still in their late 20’s or early 30’s. “It’s quite an easy thing to do really- squinting, not to mention closing one’s eyes altogether, since there’s barely a set. A vibrant Imagination will come in quite handy”-claims Lee-Burnet, chuckling madly.
Stage Manager Thomas Ruechel- who’s much older now than when you started reading this article, agrees and says that the difficulty he has doing an "Old Folks" show like this is to keep..um...to keep...“Give me a minute now, the thought will circle back...” says Ruechel.
"Oh yes! The difficulty is in keeping the stage lighting at a decent level that does not accentuate the actor’s layer-upon-layer of pancake makeup and red lipstick- especially on the men. Sometimes the actors doze off, miss cues or take pee breaks during a scene but we plan to cut those interruptions to a minimum by making sure the cast gets a good rest prior to the show, have younger back-stage personal pushing them on stage at appropriate cues and having a stock of Depends at the ready.”
This group of old codgers take to the stage for evening shows at 8PM (or as soon as they’re ready) May 30 to June 1st and for two Matinees June 1 and 2 at 2ish.
Director Reid points out that the Matinees may have a late curtain since many of the actors take a nap about the same time as the curtain goes up. A couple of them become dis-oriented as well and it takes a few minutes to explain the situation. We are going to add Red Bull to the pre-show tea and see if that helps any.”- he adds.
Tickets are $20 and on sale at Flowers by June in the Laclie Street Plaza. Groups of 10 or more get a $5 discount per ticket. Groups should call 705.329.7282 for booking a reservation.