Donnie Bowes, left, director of Cow Patti Theatre’s upcoming show Lunenburg, is shown with the cast — AnnaMarie Lea, Deb Collins and Jamie Williams. Their masks will come off for performances at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club. (Contributed photo).

Donnie Bowes, left, director of Cow Patti Theatre’s upcoming show Lunenburg, is shown with the cast — AnnaMarie Lea, Deb Collins and Jamie Williams. Their masks will come off for performances at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club. (Contributed photo).

Lacombe’s Cow Patti Theatre plays for laughs while following pandemic protocols

Norm Foster comedy Lunenburg opens on Nov. 14

Lacombe’s Cow Patti Theatre is returning to the stage this month with a heartfelt comedy about dealing with secrets and healing from grief.

“After careful consideration and planning, we have decided to bring the lights back up … with the remount of Norm Foster’s Lunenburg,” said artistic director AnnaMarie Lea.

The show, which runs from Nov. 14 to Dec. 13 at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club, is about a widow who inherits a house she didn’t know existed — then finds out more than she expected about her deceased husband.

The same comedy was supposed to go last spring, but plans were upended by the pandemic lockdown.

Lea said she and the other actors are eager to bring it back: “Nationwide, our theatres have been struggling — emotionally, financially and artistically, because we haven’t been able to practise or experience our art form,” she said.

Central Alberta theatregoers are showing their support for Cow Patti’s 25th “season within reason,” as Lunenburg is already 85 per cent sold out. As usual, a portion of the proceeds will go towards local charities.

Lea said she plans to follow Alberta Health Services guidelines, which means having a smaller audience and fewer tables, spaced two metres from the stage and each other. Patrons will be asked to wear masks whenever they leave their table.

Food choices will involve no buffet, but individual table service. There will also be theatre-only nights.

“We feel a vast responsibility to be an integral part of bringing joy and happiness for the well-being of our audience,” she said.

Lea hopes patrons will get some much-needed laughter from the travails of Iris Oulette, an American woman who travels with a friend to Nova Scotia to take possession of a house she never knew her late husband had owned.

What follows is described as a series of world-shattering surprises, “heart-warming personal transformations, and a fall-down funny romantic adventure.”

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