With active Omicron cases dropping in Alberta, Lacombe’s Cow Patti Theatre is getting ready to re-start with a tale of two grumpy old men.
The Norm Foster comedy Jonas and Barry in the Home will run from March 10 to April 3 at a new venue. Cow Patti productions are moving to the Tin Roof Event Centre, just east of Lacombe on Range Road 261.
The show, which is re-launching Cow Patti’s abbreviated season, is described as “a salute to Canadian seniors” — tailor-made for anyone in their golden years, “or anyone who has a senior in their life.”
With its perceptive script, Jonas and Barry showcases Foster’s “tremendous ability to show us things about ourselves. (He) does it with humour and charm,” said Cow Patti’s artistic director AnnaMarie Lea in an emailed release.
The Canadian playwright, with over 60 plays in production in this country and beyond, has a talent for “delivering a funny story… laced with those poignant moments can catch an audience off-guard,” Lea added.
Jonas and Barry is a dram-edy is about two seniors who meet at the Gateway Gardens retirement home and strike up an unlikely friendship.
Jonas, a former actor and songwriter, appears to be a swaggering windbag at first — an aged Lothario who spends his days wooing women at the home. Barry, a retired dentist, seems more of a curmudgeonly lost soul. He clearly isn’t thrilled to end up at the seniors’ institution, where his daughter Rosie works as the director of enrichment.
As the two males bicker and bond over various activities, they make keen-eyed observations about human nature and discover a new sense of joie de vivre.
When the play Jonas and Barry play was recently mounted at the St. Jacob’s Country Playhouse in Ontario, local theatre critics praised its “show-pausing laughter” and relatable and healing antics.
Cow Patti’s production will star Brian Young (On the Flight Path, Halfway There) and Garfield Andrews (The Odd Couple, The Long Weekend). The play will be directed by long-time Cow Patti collaborator Donnie Bowes, artistic director of the Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg, Ont.
Lea believes the honest storytelling will strike an empathetic chord with audiences old and young.
Jonas and Barry in the Home, which will be presented as a dinner theatre and various other options,will be followed by Sweet Dreams, the Music of Patsy Cline, featuring Leisa Way and the four-piece band, The Wayward Wind, in April.
As with all Cow Patti productions, part of the proceeds from each ticket sale will be donated to local charities.
The professional theatre company had cancelled its January production out of an abundance of caution because of the spread of the Omicron virus.
For more information, please visit www.cowpatti.com.