Patrick Davies photos Neal Matoga (left) as lawyer Archer Brown, alongside Colin Sanford as President Charles Smith, rehearse the Studio Theatre’s upcoming production of November. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

Rehearsals of the sidesplitting play November underway

The Studio Theatre’s upcoming satirical comedy November’s cast set to give audiences a hilarious play.

November is a Bush-administration-era play from the states about a beleaguered president with unlikely prospects of successfully running for a second term. Broke, largely abandoned by his inner circle the president becomes desperate to attain as much money as he wants while leaving himself a lasting legacy.

As the national turkey pardoning event approaches the president strikes upon a notion of wringing as much money as he can from the people who supply the turkeys by pardoning every turkey in the United States, with the help of his sly lawyer Archer. Meanwhile, the president’s speechwriter decides to adopt a Chinese girl with her female partner, figuring she can start her life now.

All of this and more coalesce into a smart adult play, filled with witty political commentary and in the context of 2018 a very true to life depiction of our friends down south. According to November’s director, Shane Tollefson, he picked the play precisely for that reason.

“It’s basically the inner working of the oval office and the knots they’ll try and twist themselves into to try and get re-elected or scam as much money as they want,” Tollefson said.

November’s playwright, David Mamet, is excellent and writing snappy dialogue, according to Tollefson, with “zingers going back and forth” making for an excellent comedy. With the Trump Administration now in office, Tollefson said the 10-year-old play about a controversial and perhaps slow-witted president was very timely, the only dated aspect being gay marriage remaining illegal.

“I read this about four years ago I think, I just came across it, and I was laughing within 10 minutes. The first 10 pages or so I was hysterically laughing reading it,” Tollefson said. “Then about two years ago, Trump was elected and I gave it a read again and I was like ‘Wow, this is actually quite on target.’ It was satire back then, now it’s the evening news.”

The play opens Nov. 7, just after America’s midterm elections, so Tollefson said that opening night “we’re either going to have a great audience or we’re going to have another depressed audience, I don’t know, we’ll make them laugh either way.”

Read More: Studio Theatre puts out call for local thespians for upcoming Shakesperian comedy

Tollefson said thus far in practice his actors have been doing great with this word-heavy play. A mix of new and old actors, Tollefson intends to put them through their paces and bring out the best in them before opening day.

“We have a talented group of cast and crew who do theatre in this town, it blows me away every year,” Tollefson said. “The creativity and talent we have in this town absolutely blows us away.”

Colin Sanford stars as President Charles Smith, perfectly capturing a bumbling, well-meaning if slightly dimwitted and impulsive president, with just the right dash of passionate un-politically correct tirades. Alongside him is Neal Matoga as the clever and sly lawyer Archer Brown, who is already embodying a calculating droll personality.

The rest of the small cast also stands ready to deliver memorable performances, with Karen MacDonald gracefully playing the sincere speechwriter Clarice Bernstein, Jamie Regier bringing a fiery bombastic persona to Chief Dwight Grackle and Chris Armstrong portraying a delightfully neurotic and humorous man known only as Turkey Guy. While not off script yet, the actors are already infusing their characters with personality and life that will only grow more pronounced before opening night.

Set construction has already begun and Tollefson said it’s not one specifically tied to any president, but rather a hodgepodge of different styles that create its own look.

Running Wednesday to Saturday for two consecutive weeks in November, with two matinees on the Saturdays, all funds as always will go back into the theatre to help pay for the next production. With 98 seats available, Tollefson said, tickets will be going on sale soon, though he warns there is some very mature language throughout.

“What’s going on south of the border is pretty sad, pretty tragic, so I thought let’s give them a laugh or two. Of course, we don’t really have a dog in that fight down there, but when the neighbours start yelling, start throwing stuff, start lighting people’s couches on fire on the front lawn, it might blow back towards your house too,” Tollefson joked.

Read More: Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Turkey Guy played by Chris Armstrong (left) reacting to President Charles Smith, Collin Sanford, as Archer Brown, Neal Matoga, looks on. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

Jamie Regirer bursting onto the set as Chief Dwight Grackle threatening Neal Matoga as presidential lawyer Archer Brown. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

Jamie Regirer (from left), Neal Matoga, Collin Standford and Karen MacDonald rehearsing the Studio Theatre’s upcoming play November. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

Just Posted

Sloughing of embankment results in vehicles, tank falling into river valley

City of Williams Lake staff working with government ministries and businesses to address the problem

42nd annual Williams Lake Harvest Fair wants you!

Think you might have just canned the best pickles ever?

Williams Lake Slo-Pitch League geared up for year-end tournament

“It’s been a great year and we’re looking forward to this weekend,” Barbondy said.

Delay powers way to berth at strongman nationals

Delay finished in the top four in his weight division in Richmond at the provincial championships

Joe Borsato leaves the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin

Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin coordinator Joe Borsato bid farewell to his position at the museum

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

‘Unsubstantiated’ bomb threat against CP Rail in Revelstoke

On Aug. 18, a bomb threat was made against CP Rail in Revelstoke

Victoria father charged with double murder of his daughters takes the stand

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Catholic church buys $7.5M equestrian facility in B.C., plans ‘agri-retreat’ centre

Church hopes to grow crops, host students and others on Bradner property

New regulations require training for B.C. addiction recovery homes

Inspections, standards replace ‘wild west,’ Judy Darcy says

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

66% of B.C. residents want opt-out system for organ donation: poll

Support was lowest in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces

B.C. rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance

Black substance spilled intentionally near Vancouver Island school and difficult to remove

Most Read