Com­edy hour

Mu­si­cal com­edy com­ing to a new venue in Amherst

The Amherst News - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE MATHIESON

Show­case Pro­duc­tions of­fer­ing com­edy this week­end in Amherst.

Show­case Pro­duc­tions will stage a new play at a new venue the sec­ond floor of Dayle’s Grand Mar­ket in Amherst.

“The up­stairs is used on oc­ca­sion for spe­cial events, and this is the first time it will be trans­formed into a the­ater,” said Patrick McWade. “If all goes as planned, it will be­come a great place for other lo­cal theatre events to be pre­sented.”

The first play staged at Dayle’s will be ‘And That’s the Way It’ll Al­ways Be,’ writ­ten and di­rected by McWade.

The mu­si­cal com­edy will be staged Nov. 15, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m.

Pro­ducer and ac­tor Andy Me­lan­son took a break from re­hearsals to talk about the play.

“There’s two sis­ters that have a bed and break­fast, and in their spare time they also run a still in their base­ment,” said Me­lan­son. “Their great-grand­fa­ther had been a pri­va­teer and a rum-run­ner back in the day, so they’re car­ry­ing on the tra­di­tion of sup­ply­ing hooch to the com­mu­nity.”

The play is also a play-within-a-play.

“What they’ve de­cided to do is bring in a play­wright from the city to write a play based on the town’s his­tory, so a young fel­low comes in from the city and he puts to­gether this play.”

The play has about 10 char­ac­ters, in­clud­ing a niece of the two sis­ters, a sec­ond young lady who wants to be a play­wright, and a chicken farmer who sup­plies eggs to the sis­ters and is in love with one of them.

Many of the char­ac­ters come from other towns, with Port Isth­mus stand­ing in for Amherst, and Har­bour City stand­ing in for Hal­i­fax.

McWade wrote 11 orig­i­nal songs for the play, which were then pro­duced by Amherst’s Doug Pineau.

“Pat plays rudi­men­tary pi­ano and gui­tar, so he gives the mu­sic to Doug, and Doug cre­ates the back­ing mu­sic for us,” said Me­lan­son. “Doug writes and scores mu­sic and is an in­cred­i­ble mu­si­cian, and he also has his own record­ing stu­dio at home.”

The new venue will seat 100 peo­ple each night.

“If we sell those out we will have 25 rush tick­ets ev­ery night,” said Me­lan­son.

Cof­fee, cook­ies and muffins with be pro­vided dur­ing the in­ter­mis­sion by the Bliss Crys­tal Café, which is lo­cated in­side Dayle’s.

“We’re re­ally thank­ful to the folks at Dayle’s for al­low­ing us to do this,” said Me­lan­son. “Hope­fully it’s go­ing to be a work­ing re­la­tion­ship that’s go­ing to be good for both of us.”

Tick­ets are $10, and can be pur­chased at the Bliss Crys­tal Café in Dayle’s Grand Mar­ket, or by call­ing Jan­ice Me­lan­son at 902-661-0108. Tick­ets can also be pur­chased at the door.

DAVE MATHIESON – AMHERST NEWS

Ac­tors, from left, Beth Selig, Jenna Wil­son, and Jan­ice Me­lan­son, are busy re­hears­ing ‘And That’s the Way It’ll Al­ways Be’ at the An­gli­can Church Parish Hall in Amherst. Once the set is built, re­hearsals will move to Dayle’s Grand Mar­ket in Amherst, where the play will be staged.

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