“If we can make ourselves laugh, I guarantee we’ll make an audience laugh,” says Richard Bauer who is directing the final Cow Patti production at the Ramada Inn in Cornwall in February.
For its 11th and final curtain call in the Seaway Valley, AnnaMarie Lea’s Cow Patti Theatre is producing Marc Camoletti’s Boeing-Boeing.
“Boeing-Boeing is a wonderful farce,” says Bauer. “It takes place in this bachelor pad in Paris. Garfield (Andrews) plays Bernard, and he’s decided he can have three mistresses at the same time. Over the years, he’s devised a time schedule. But, you know, schedules change, weather happens and planes get faster.”
“Bernard is a ladies man,” says Andrews of his character. “He’s formulated a way to live out his fantasies and never have these women meet. He’s on top of his game.”
Boeing-Boeing is set in the 1960s, and Bernard’s lifestyle becomes unravelled in a very short 24 hour period when his carefully arranged time schedule falls apart.
Joining Andrews, a longtime favourite on the Cow Patti stage and on the stage at the Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg, is Jamie Williams playing Bernard’s old school chum Robert. The two haven’t seen each other in more than 10 years, and Robert just happens to drop in.
“I’m from the country and have a farm where we make oil…walnut oil, apparently,” explains Williams. Robert quickly learns of his friend’s lifestyle and “at first I just react to things, but, eventually I find myself involved with keeping the three air hostesses from meeting.”
Also enlisted in keeping the hostesses apart is Bernard’s French housekeeper Bertha, played by AnnaMarie Lea. “I think Bertha quite likes her boss, and I think she wants to please him,” says Lea. The difficulty however is, “one minute I’m cooking sauerkraut, then it’s pancakes and molasses and then frankfurters.”
That’s because each of Bernard’s flight attendants hails from a different country…Germany, the southern United States and Italy.
Thoroughly enjoying their characters, just a few days into rehearsals, are Susan Greenfield, Kate Gordon and Katie Lawson.
Greenfield is playing Gabriella, the Italian, “who is very passionate. I love being in love, and I’m jealous and possessive.”
Gloria, the American from the South is played by Katie Lawson. “Gloria is very confident, and she has a strange appetite.”
Hostess number three is Gretchen, the German, played by Kate Gordon. “Gretchen is assertive, definitely not delicate, and she has a big personality.”
“The women in this farce really drive the show, they provide the spice,” says Bauer.
Lea is hoping that the five Boeing-Boeing benefit shows will push the Cow Patti 11-year total to over $200,000 raised for local charities.
This year’s Benefit Shows are scheduled for February 22 for the SD&G Highland Dance Association; Thursday, February 9 for Water for Life; Sunday, February 12, for the Ontario Senior Games District #8; Thursday, February 16 for the Knights of Columbus; Sunday, February 19 for Glengarry Memorial Hospital.
Boeing-Boeing opens Thursday, February 2 and runs through Sunday, February 19. The dinner theatre ($58 tickets) and Brunch Theatre ($48 tickets) include the always delicious Ramada Inn buffets while evening and afternoon cabaret tickets sell for $27.
This year, Cow Patti has added a TGIF cabaret on Friday night, February 3. “I’m trying to encourage younger couples to come and see the show, so I thought I would change it up a bit for the Friday night (Feb. 3) show, make it a bit more affordable with the cabaret.” For information or tickets call 1-877-552-9166 or visit www.cowpatti.com.
Bauer says it is an honour to direct the final Cow Patti show in the Seaway Valley. “I’ve worked with all of these people before and it is an honour to work with established professionals.”
Excited about the show, he says “it’s like a plane taking off…it’s off…it’s flying…then it hits the turbulence.”
It’s that turbulence that Cow Patti promises will have the audiences “airborne with laughter!”