A would-be writer learns something from a procession of female neighbours who move into the apartment next door.
Cow Patti Theatre presents Norm Foster’s Here On the Flight Path, opening on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club.
Foster has called this play one of his personal favourites. And Cow Patti’s artistic director, AnnaMarie Lea can see why. She believes the script strikes the perfect balance between funny and poignant, leaving viewers with some life truths to reflect on once the laughs die down.
The main character, John Cummings, lives near the airport of a major Canadian city. He’s a divorced guy aspiring to be a novelist. “He always says the novel’s all in his head and it’s going to write itself,” said Lea.
The first female who shifts John’s perspective is Fay, a self-assured consultant who moves into the apartment next door. “She’s a very grounded woman, who knows what she wants and knows how to take care of herself,” said Lea.
After Fay departs, Angel moves in. The singer from Calgary is hoping to break into musical theatre. “She’s a dreamer. In her world, the sun is always shining… She’s full of hope and determination,” said Lea.
When things don’t quite work out for Angel, along comes Gwen. Lea said, “She’s a driving instructor from Vancouver, who left her husband and is very upset, sad and on-edge.”
Debra Hale, of Ontario, will portray all the female roles, opposite Brian Young, as John. (Cow Patti patrons might remember that Young played Leo in last fall’s The Christmas Express).
Lea said a lot of interesting challenges are presenting themselves: Hale is learning to portray three very different women, while Young is “breaking the fourth wall” and talking directly to the audience.
Lea is having to figure out how to stage some scenes that were written in the 1990s, but are now problematic, given the #MeToo movement and scrutiny of men’s behavior.
Lea decided to make certain lines more light-hearted and less creepy. “We’re keeping it light… Our job is to entertain audiences,” she added, by giving them some “a good giggle” and some food for thought.
“Hopefully people will leave feeling positive… maybe a couple days later they will think, oh yeah, that scene makes sense!”
The play (available as dinner or dessert theatre) will run until March 11. For more information, please visit www.cowpatti.com.