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St. Albert Dinner Theatre announces 2022-2023 season

Season 11 features Wrong Window, The Dangers of VD (Valentine's Day), and The Odd Couple
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Donna Beeston, president of St. Albert Dinner Theatre, has announced the 2022-2023 three-part season. RICK HALBERT/Photo

St. Albert Dinner Theatre has announced its 2022-2023 season lineup with a great deal of excitement within company ranks.

The season is designed to attract a broader and younger audience as well as a more diverse range of actors.  

President Donna Beeston said the three-play season includes Wrong Window, the troupe’s first murder mystery; The Dangers of VD (Valentine’s Day), a play written by a local playwright; and the huge Broadway hit The Odd Couple

Beeston said the season was based largely on patron feedback from a survey conducted in February. 

“The first thing everybody said was they wanted more comedy. The second thing that surprised us was that people wanted murder mysteries. And so, we started to search for shows that would fit the criteria,” she said. 

The opener running from Nov. 20 to 26 is Wrong Window, a murder thriller that spoofs Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Co-written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, the whodunit’s two main characters are Marnie and Jeff, a couple in an on-again, off-again relationship. 

At one point, across their courtyard, the duo spies what they believe is a neighbour murdering his wife. When she disappears, the couple tries to piece together a series of clues by breaking into their neighbour’s apartment. 

“There is a dead person, but is it his wife?” said Beeston. 

Following in the New Year from Feb. 9 to 25, 2023, is The Dangers of VD (Valentine’s Day). Written by Calmar playwright Chris McKerracher, the comedy examines the role sex plays in marriage and relationships. 

“Chris writes primarily for dinner theatre. He wrote this for a theatre group in Calmar, but it also got picked up in the States and we’re the third theatre. It’s multi-generational and fits the bill for our audience.” 

In this humorous social commentary, Gramps and Gran yearn for the romance of younger days when their achy bodies enjoyed more flexibility. Meanwhile, their daughter-in-law Paulette is frustrated with her husband, Henry, who shies away from intimacy. 

On yet another level, Paulette’s daughter, Jacqui, is being coached to dress in revealing clothes to attract men by Aunt Jean. Aunt Jean is divorced, secretly jealous of her sister’s long-term marriage. and could be planning sabotage.  

In a bid to attract more male actors and build a stronger base, the dinner theatre is also slotting a production with high-wattage name recognition. Neil Simon’s light-hearted comedy, The Odd Couple, runs April 13 to 29, 2023. 

On the surface, main characters Felix and Oscar are completely mismatched. Felix is neat, uptight, and slightly neurotic while Oscar is more of an easy-going slob. Both are divorced, share an apartment, and constantly get on each other’s nerves. But by the end, they worm their way into each others' hearts. 

“We’ve stuck to two lesser-known shows, but we’re also trying to keep a balance with a play that is more well known. And it’s not just for the audience, but also for actors. We’re trying to provide an opportunity for diverse actors to come together on stage and build relationships. If we have a strong base, we’ll be able to put on better theatre. That benefits both actors and patrons,” Beeston said. 

All shows play at Kinsmen Banquet Hall, 47 Riel Dr. With spiking prices across the economy, patrons will also see a small jump in ticket prices to a flat rate of $65 per ticket for everyone. Dedicated theatre-goers can save 20 per cent by purchasing seasonal subscriptions, which go on sale July 1. Single tickets will be available Sept. 1. Call 780-222-0102 or visit stalberttheatre.com. 


Anna Borowiecki

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