Gore Bay Theatre summer season explores love and laughter through two productions

The cast of Kindertransport, one of the two productions offered as part of Gore Bay Theatre’s summer program.

GORE BAY—The two plays taking to the stage as part of the Gore Bay Theatre summer program offer very different takes on love and life this season, providing evenings of entertainment for all tastes.

The Norm Foster romantic comedy ‘Old Love’ will first take to the stage, as has become a delightful tradition, as a July 6 dinner theatre production hosted by the Gore Bay Rotary Club. Following non-dinner performances will take place July 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 28.

The stars of ‘Old Love,’ the husband and wife team of Theresa and Dario Laurenti, will be very familiar to veteran theatre goers. The chemistry between these two performers adds a delightful flavour to the production, which explores the theme of a second run at love for two older characters. ‘Old Love’ was very well received in its first outing as part of the Espanola Little Theatre production, also co-directed by the team of Walter Maskel and Andrea Emmerton.

‘Old Love’ is a romantic comedy, that includes “touches of personal drama” and spans three decades during which a smitten Bud Mitchell repeatedly meets (and falls hopelessly in love with) his boss’s wife Molly Graham. While Bud is caught in the throws of love at first sight and an obsession with Molly that lasts a lifetime, Molly can’t seem to recall the hapless would-be lover for life of her—hilarity ensues.

The Gore Bay Theatre’s 2016 QUONTA entry ‘Kindertransport’ came away with several awards from that competition and will be reprised onstage this season. This powerhouse production first takes the stage on July 7, with following performances on July 14, 21 and 28.

The director’s note for ‘Kindertransport’ explains that title was the name given to the operation which rescued over 10,000 Jewish children in Operation Pied Piper and others out of Nazi Germany at the start of WWII. Parents could not accompany their children, so frightened and on their own, these children travelled to safety in England and a few other welcoming countries.

This dramatic presentation was captivating when reviewed by The Expositor earlier this year and contains an outstanding cast delivering a powerhouse story that explores mother-daughter relationships through a Second World War setting that is remarkably relevant when set against the current events of today.

“‘Kindertransport’ is one of the most powerful shows we have ever mounted,” said Mr. Maskel, who along with Ms. Emmerton co-direct the production. “The level of difficulty, especially with the number of accents for Kayla (Greenman), really make this a tour de force.”

The finished product is in fact amazing, mixing performances by actors both veteran and novice. Gore Bay’s Jack Clark fills all of the male roles, a challenge that runs the gamut from lighthearted comedic to the darkly sinister. Ms. Greenman’s performance as the young Jewish refugee at the centre of the story is outstanding, taking the audience through time and a metamorphosis that strikes deep into the heart of any parent. Tara Bernatchez is a familiar face to the Gore Bay Theatre crowd and her interpretation of the mother Helga and her range of emotions lives up to expectations and beyond. Veteran thespian Shannon McMullan brings foster mother Evelyn to vivid life, while Kyleen Robertson’s late 20th century daughter Faith plays wonderful juxtaposition to the tortured elder Lil, played by the redoubtable Lori Evans.

Both these productions are a summer evening well spent. The curtain rises on the productions at 7:30 pm for each of the non-dinner productions and tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. The dinner theatre tickets are $35 and dinner will be served at 6 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Gore Bay municipal office (box office is open 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday) and all performances are at the Gore Bay Community Hall. While VISA and Mastercard sales are accepted by calling 705-282-2420, it’s cash only at the door.