The cast of Central Alberta Theatre’s Buying the Moose (contributed photo).

Battle of the sexes ignites in CAT’s season-opening dinner theatre comedy

Buying the Moose opens on Oct. 13

When a wife catches her husband with a blow-up doll dressed in her clothes, she absolutely freaks.

The suggestive story line of Central Alberta Theatre’s first dinner theatre comedy of the season, Buying the Moose, which opens Oct. 13 at the Black Knight Inn, unfolds like any number of Three’s Company episodes from the 1970s and ’80s.

The ones in which Mrs. Furley or Mrs. Roper finally realizes, after much hand-wringing, that there really was a good reason Mr. Furley or Mr. Roper had his head up under Janet/Chrissy/Terri’s skirt.

Unlike the silly TV sit-com, this stage comedy by Canadian playwright and former Saturday Night Live writer Michael G. Wilmot, digs deeper with its themes, said CAT director Glorene Ellis.

Sex-tinged plot line aside, she believes Buying the Moose reveals many truths about the different way men and women handle stressful situations: “Women love talking about their feelings,” while men clam up about their emotions.

Ellis feels these polar-opposite approaches can make already flammable situations explode into bigger battles.

The director’s read dozens of scripts and feels Buying the Moose is unique in its ability to straddle the line between outrageous comedy and reality. “I like the words, ‘insightful’ and ‘relatable’ for this. I think it’s a relatable play for (adults) of any age.”

Her cast is made up of four veteran actors. Ian Hengeveld, of Rocky Mountain House, plays Rob, the hapless husband. His freaked-out wife, Betty, is portrayed by Cynthia Edwards, a CAT regular —while Rob’s brother and his wife are played by CAT vets, Perry Mill and Deb O’Brien.

Since rehearsals have mostly been smooth sailing, Ellis admitted her biggest challenge was browsing on “certain websites” to order a rubber sex toy.

“I thought, oh my god, can they really trace this thing to my shopping patterns on the internet? I can’t believe I’m doing this…”

It will all be worth it, however, if the play gets the belly laughs she’s anticipating. Ellis also hopes viewers will go home, think about it again a few days later, and realize “hey, this really happening in my life!”

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