|Posted by Kris Bauske on May 3, 2015 at 2:40 PM|
This lovely article ran during the 2014 production of "A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas" in Saskatchewan, Canada. Sorry I didn't find it sooner. Enjoy!
Langham theatre troupe puts a hillbilly spin on Christmas tale
By Terry Pugh Clark's
It’s Christmas Eve in the little of town of Christmas, USA, and everybody’s got problems.
With their relationships. With their workplace. With their friends. Even with their phones. Nothing’s working.
Sounds like a recipe for a Good, Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas. And the Langham Theatrical Company is serving up another fresh batch this weekend.
At Lou’s Diner, Barbie Jo Fox (played by Corinne Waldner) is burning apple pies. Again. And her mother is ragging on her about her bad decision to marry Dave. She’s trying to sort out her problems with the help of her employer Lou Wexler (Treena Rowat) and co-worker Darlene Fulmer (Janene Bueckert). Janene is blessed with a pathological love for Christmas carols and a voice that sounds like “someone field-dressing a cat”, to quote Barbie Jo.
For his part, Dave (Steve Balzer) has high-tailed it up to a hunting lodge on Christmas Eve (Christmas Eve!) with his buddies Bill Wexler (Martin Bembridge) and Jimmy Weaver (Erron Leafloor). They’re looking for a break - Bill from his wife Lou and Jimmy from his girlfriend Darlene.
Meantime, it’s snowing to beat sixty outside, and with each passing hour, the blizzard is just getting worse and worse.
Holed up in the cafe are a marooned truck driver named Bob and his dog Bailey (Darrell Novakovski and his dog Bailey - what a coincidence); and Mark Riley, who’s studying to be a doctor like his dad.
Suddenly, a young pregnant woman named Mary Sue Archer drops into the cafe out of the blue after getting off a passing bus. She’s got no place to stay.
When Mary Sue decides to leave the cafe and gets lost in the blizzard, Mark sets off to find her. Truth is, he’s smitten, and when he finds her, the young couple stumble upon a horse barn on the outskirts of town. She’s about to give birth.
Meanwhile, the three hunters have had no luck bagging any game. They’ve run out of food. Their truck won’t start. They have no wood for a fire and their cell phones are not working. They set out back to town on foot, and come upon the scene in the manger.
These three wise guys aren’t wise men, but they come bearing gifts in spite of themselves.
It’s clear from the beginning where this allegory tale is headed, but it’s a sleigh full of fun watching the characters and the plot weave toward the pseudo-Biblical First Christmas-tale ending.
With plenty of one-liners and sight gags, this comedy hits all the right notes. But it also has just enough pathos and touching scenes to offset the levity. Plus the set is really cool. The hunting lodge paraphernalia comes direct from Archerwill, so you know it’s the real thing.