Musical comedy coming to a new venue in Amherst
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.
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.