ConU theatre serves platter of laughs

The Celery Stalks at Midnight is like a veggie platter of short stories.
The Concordia theatre department’s second fall production is a collection of five short plays with accompanying songs.
Nine actors brought to life this fabulous production, which included 15
eccentric and immediately engaging characters.
The opening and closing plays “The Role of Della,” a story of two actors and their auditions with a famous director, and “Words, Words, Words,” a look at chimps replicating Shakespeare, were good but not as entertaining as the middle three.
“Mere Mortals” is a story of three construction workers lunching on a high-rise who imagine they are famous in other lives.
Frank is convinced he is the lost Lindbergh baby; Charlie believes he is the dead tzar of Russia following a vision; and Joe, a reluctant believer in the past lives theory, finally admits to being Marie Antoinette.
Thick Jersey accents present in the discussion of what it was like to be Marie Antoinette kept the audience rolling with laughter.
The three sing The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo. Only too perfect for three men who were more likely to break each other’s necks.
You cannot make a waitress, you must be born one, says Kay, a character in “Lives of Great Waitresses.”
For this production, four women talk about life as a great waitress, or, for
some, their futile struggles to become one.
Tammie Sue discusses the men she serves and explains that it’s not the outside that counts, it’s what he’s hiding behind closed doors: “He could do things with his fingers that should be illegal…or fattening!” Each searched for more meaning in her life, a theme similar to “Mere Mortals.”
“Life Support,” is a dark comedy about the AIDS epidemic. In sharp contrast to the humour of the first three, it had half the audience whispering: “Do you have a Kleenex?” by the end.
Although the story poked fun at the many ways of dealing with death and was extremely humourous, it kept a rich taste of realism when Patrick pulled the plug on his boyfriend’s life support.
The director, Professor Gerry Gross, said he chose the roles based on what he felt the students could work with easily. The collection was named after the title of a popular record from the swing era, an orchestra piece from the late 1940s. Gross liked that it was fun and light-hearted. Indeed it was.
Playing November 9-11, and 14-17 at the Cazalet Theatre, everyone should find an opportunity to fit an evening of incredible theatre into their schedule. Be prepared to think twice about who you are, question if monkeys can write Hamlet, and consider that you may not be a truly great waitress. No matter what, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll love this production.

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