Southern Dis-Comfort: An evening of fun

Reviewed by Iris Winston

Categories: Community Theatre

Image courtesy of Eddie May Mysteries

Image courtesy of Eddie May Mysteries

Southern Dis-Comfort

By Dan Lalande and Noel Counsil

Eddie May Murder Mysteries

Directed by Thea Nikolic

Murder mystery dinner theatre is not intended to be taken seriously. Neither should it be viewed in the same light as regular theatre.

Rather, the mystery is the frame for a variety of clichés about characters and plot, bookended by a meal and a miniscule amount of suspense as the audience solves whodunit. Audience members must also be prepared to interact with cast members in character while they are eating. In addition, they should be ready to laugh a lot between mouthfuls.

For two decades or more, Eddie May Mysteries have proved conclusively that the formula works. Now, the company has expanded to a second venue — the Velvet Room attached to Fat Tuesdays restaurant in Kanata Centrum.

Southern Dis-Comfort by Dan Lalande and Eddie May founder Noel Counsil is the first show to play at both the downtown and the west end location. The storyline not only speaks of murder and mayhem at the Caj-Inn hunting lodge in Louisiana, but also provides a vehicle for banter about Canada versus the U.S. and even a few moments of song. There are also some slow-down film-like segments that work very well.

The characters are intentionally set up as stereotypes — the southern belle, the wealthy southern landowner, the francophone with vocabulary issues in English, a lumberjack in plaid shirt, a drunk in ragged camouflage gear, the detective and the victim. Each of the actors stays in character — often a one-note character, but that is all the script allows — with two stand-outs: Thea Nikolic (also the show director) as the bubbly francophone and Jody Hanucke as the toothless, drunken handyman. Jordan Hancey is also effective, maintaining a consistent southern accent and impeccable elegance.

The menu offers a number of choices (unusual for this type of entertainment) and the service is excellent.

Altogether, the package delivers an evening of fun and a step away from regular theatrical entertainment.

Director: TheaNikolic

Set and costumes: Jody Hanucke

Lights: Garret Brink

Music: Steven Lafond

Cast:

M.I. Dunfor………………………………………..Nick Stelmach

Lester Frickett……………………………………..Jody Hanucke

U.B. Dupré…………………………………………Jordan Hancey

Kitty Cheramie…………………………………….Bekah Shirey

Newt McCooie…………………………………….Ryan Clark

Loulou St. Amour…………………………………Thea Nikolic


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