Entertainment

Quick wit comedy in The Long Weekend

South Okanagan Amateur Players present The Long Weekend with (right to left) Craig Bjornsen (Roger), Penelope Johnson (Abby), Tom Szalay (Max) and Aimee Grice (Wynn). This photo depicts a previous holiday the couples have spent together in Martinique in the play which is a catalyst for much trouble on their current long weekend holiday at the cottage. - Photo Submitted
South Okanagan Amateur Players present The Long Weekend with (right to left) Craig Bjornsen (Roger), Penelope Johnson (Abby), Tom Szalay (Max) and Aimee Grice (Wynn). This photo depicts a previous holiday the couples have spent together in Martinique in the play which is a catalyst for much trouble on their current long weekend holiday at the cottage.
— image credit: Photo Submitted

“This is going to be the longest weekend of my life,” grumbles one character in SOAP’s October production of The Long Weekend by Norm Foster.

However, the South Okanagan Amateur Players promise this quick-witted comedy will feel anything but long. The script has been described as “mischievous fun” with “doubled over laughs” and “scrumptious plot twists.”

“We were literally weeping with laughter when reading through the script for the first time,” said stage manager Patrick Turner. “It was so funny we could barely get the words out.”

Norm Foster is Canada’s most prolific and most-performed playwright, often compared to Neil Simon for his smart, crisp dialogue, strong characters, and true-to-life plots.

The production, directed by Ted Osborne and Jen Jensen, runs until Oct. 20 at the Cannery Stage in Penticton, and Oct. 26 to 27 at OSS Minitheatre in Osoyoos. Besides five evening performances at 8 p.m., there will be a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Osoyoos, to encourage Oliver audiences to attend.

The Long Weekend’s first act opens with a wealthy couple, Max and Wynn Trueman entertaining Wynn’s best friend Abby and her husband Roger Nash for a weekend at their upscale country retreat.

Their warm welcome quickly turns frosty as old jealousies resurface. Max, a pompous lawyer, can’t resist pointing out Roger’s failure as a writer. Wynn, a therapist, lives in constant dread of designer Abby’s delightfully scathing comments about her taste in fashion and home decor. The hilarity comes in the contrast between their public niceties and private put-downs. The comedy will resonate with anyone who has ever been a reluctant house guest or has hosted guests who outstay their welcome.

The laughs increase as surprising revelations cause the couples to rethink their allegiances. The gloves come off, and the audience is in for a crazy, truth-telling ride. As quickly as one character spills the beans, new secrets are created, until the final curtain when the last and greatest plot twist is revealed. Along the way are clever one-liners, running gags, and some steamy romance.

Starring as the foursome is the strong cast of Tom Szalay (Max), Aimee Grice (Wynn), Penelope Johnson (Abby) and Craig Bjornson (Roger).

Tickets for The Long Weekend are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors/students at Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos) and Sundance Video (Oliver). Cannery Stage tickets are sold through Dragon’s Den (Front Street, Penticton).

Tickets will also be sold at the door subject to seat availability. SOAP reminds this is a play with adult situations and is recommended for 16 and older. For more info contact 250-498-3597 or soap@telus.net.

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