Check Please! opens at Seaway May 11


Dating is tough.Being set up by friends is tough. But the toughest test of finding true love has got to be the dreaded blind date.

At least that’s the premise of Check, Please! by Jonathan Rand, an hilarious look at the perils and pitfalls of modern dating being presented on Friday, May 11, 6 p.m., at Seaway District High School in Iroquois. 

Under the direction of teachers Emma Mayer and Kim Lalonde, 21 senior drama students will perform the timely and funny production as part of the 7th annual dinner theatre night at the high school. 

“The actors have been working extremely hard,” said Lalonde. “It’s going to be a great show. There were a lot of funny moments just in rehearsals, especially as the kids began to identify their characters with the costumes and make-up. And,” Lalonde added, laughing, “the day we put the boys into make up for the first time, is now known as David Bowie Day. It was hilarious. However, they’re getting used to the whole stage thing now.”

I had the opportunity to speak to four members of the cast about the play, and about their roles. 

Rebecca Helmer, who plays “the Girl” describes her character as a bit desperate, trying to find “the one.” “She can be sarcastic (she’s faced some bad situations), but she’s also a lot of fun to play. Does she find love? Well there is a twist at the end of the play that will let the audience know that.”

Jared Gibson, “the Guy,” is coming from a world of bad dates including one with a rabid Chicago Bears fan, another with a woman who talks only in internet abbreviations. “Everybody has had them, the bad dates, the embarrassment of bad dates. My character is getting a little desperate. He would just like to find a nice, normal, average girl next door.”

Judging from the characters played by Haley VanAllen and Nicole Hallam,  that girl next door is going to be pretty hard to find.

“My Cleo is a pyschic,” Haley explained. “The problem is she reads feet. Yup, she’s pretty insane, definitely ditzy. Her version of seeing the future is to say ‘I saw I was going to fail the math exam, and guess what? I did!’”

Does she find love?

“I think we might have to wait for the Cleo spin off,” Jared said straight-faced.

Nicole Hallam’s Mary is the kind of girl who shows up on a blind date carrying a Brides magazine under her arm.

“She has her entire wedding planned, from church and reception to the honeymoon. The only catch: no groom,” Nicole explained. “What she’s really looking for is a guy who will fit into the tuxedo. Thirty seconds into the date, she’s asking the guy if he’d like to help her pick out the wedding dress. She’s hilarious.”

“The script for Check, Please! is very funny, and very well written,” Haley said.  “Everyone can relate to these characters, and not feel so bad about their own dating experiences.”

“Everything that can go wrong, does, in this play,” added Nicole.

“Think of worst case scenarios and then think how funny they can be,” Jared said.

“It’s really a laugh out loud play,” Rebecca said. “We all still laugh even in our rehearsals.” 

The dinner theatre is being sponsored by the SDHS parents council. The funds raised, including those coming from the silent auction, will go towards new technology for the school. Tickets are $10 per person for the delicious lasagna dinner and the show, and are available in advance by calling 613-652-4878.

Come out on Friday, May 11, to share the laughter and memories of first dates.

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