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Gear up for Jack of Diamonds

Rare Form Theatre ramps up the hijinks with a band of seniors that refuse to be taken advantage of.


Jack of Diamonds

Rare Form Theatre

Feb. 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Shell Theatre, Dow Centennial Centre

8700 – 84 St.

Fort Saskatchewan

Tickets: $15 to $18 Visit

Rare Form Theatre is a local community theatre company that makes little attempt to be serious. It takes fast-paced shows with a silly premise and turns them into a fun night for patrons.

This year’s annual production is Marsha Kash's and Douglas Hughes' Jack of Diamonds running Feb. 28 and 29 at Fort Saskatchewan’s Shell Theatre in the Dow Centennial Centre.

Jack of Diamonds follows a group of seniors living in an upscale retirement home under the nasty eye of Nurse Harper. Jack is a former jeweller who accumulated a decent amount of wealth selling diamonds on late-night TV ads. He now lives in a luxurious, privately owned retirement home.

A wrench is thrown into the retirees’ lives when they become victims of a Ponzi scheme. They lose their retirement savings to Barney Effward, a smooth-talking conman who makes Bernie Madoff look like an altar boy.

Before anyone can come to grips with the extent of the crisis, a mysterious Mr. Smith is transferred into their establishment. Barney is hiding out pretending to be in a coma to elude a public outcry and the police.

Although facing financial ruin, the seniors hatch a plan to recoup their losses and exact revenge.

“It’s a fun, quick-paced show that shows the fun side of seniors. They’re spunky and there’s a lot going on,” said Sage Goonewardena, a Paul Kane French immersion teacher.

She plays Rose, a visually challenged techno whiz adept at tapping into the latest technology. Out of the seven actors in the cast, four have Paul Kane connections. Drama teacher Lisa Whitson takes on the role of Flora, an artistically gifted but forgetful woman. Paul Kane alumni Danielle Schafer plays Nurse Harper while Thomas Taylor is Mortimer, Barney’s shady lawyer.

“These are seniors trying to safeguard their future and their investments. They want to be prepared, but they don’t want to be taken advantage of,” Goonewardena said.

Not only does Barney bilk the retirees out of their money, but the theft also threatens their personal relationships.

“Blanche and Jack are romantically linked and they really want to stay in the home together, but they don’t know what will happen,” said Goonewardena.

While Blanche is the narcoleptic beauty in the group, Jack is the charismatic leader.

“He’s the glue that keeps everyone together. We’re each other’s family and he does what needs to get done.”

Working in tandem with plans that go awry, the seniors prove they still have it.

“There are lots of fun, comfortable moments in the play. It’s heartfelt and genuine.”

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Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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