‘Kitchen Witches’ comedy opening 10 days away

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Good news on the local theatre scene. Director Dave Symington is sticking with his assertion that ‘Kitchen Witches’ is the funniest play he’s ever been involved with.

Even after all those rehearsals? (It opens on Jan. 25 at the Legacy Centre.)
“Absolutely!” he says. “It’s not wearing out.”

His wife Gail, who attends the rehearsals, “almost falls off her chair laughing.”

This is helpful for the players, because performing in front of an empty room is a lot different than doing it before an audience. Especially the funny stuff.

“In comedy, timing is everything,” Symington says. “I tell them, when the audience is laughing, you have to stay in character and stop talking.”

There will be lots of laughing, Symington predicts.

The premise of Kitchen Witches is quite simple – or sounds as if it is. Two former friends have competing local cable TV cooking shows. They share a producer and cameraman – and that’s not all. And they can’t stand each other.

“They’ve had a falling out,” says the director.

The two ‘witches’ are played by Simone Crain and Jean Montgomery. Corey Turner plays their producer and Jordan Nahamko the camera guy.

“It’s like you’d see in a cooking show,” says Symington. “We even have an ‘Iron Chef’ challenge, which will involve a member from the audience as an honourary taste-tester.”

With two-and-a-half weeks before opening night, Symington said there’s a lot to get done. On Jan. 7 he was heading into the first rehearsal with the whole cast since before Christmas.

“We’ve got some rough spots to sand off,” he says, “but we’re well on our way.”

The set is a kitchen, pretty much resembling one from a TV cooking show.
And real cooking will be going on there, Symington says. Michelle Vekved and Chuck Riddell are looking after set building and decoration.

Expect local references. Symington says the play – although nominally set in Toronto – allows for the insertion of local place names.

“One of our characters is from Assineau,” he says. “I know from my days at Crime By Design if you put Assineau in a play, people will laugh at it.”

The plan is to do a 10-show run for Kitchen Witches from Jan. 25 to Feb. 3, with two matinees on each of the Saturdays during that period.

As for tickets? They’re available online at Eventbrite.ca; in town they can be purchased at the Business Factory, Re/Max Realty, Hair Traces, The Source, Cross Fit, The Fix and at the town office.

A spatula to a knife fight?

Kitchen Witches Dollie (Simone Crain) and Izzy (Jean Montgomery) face off in rehearsal for the play ‘Kitchen Witches,’ by Caroline Smith. It opens on Jan. 25 at the Legacy Centre in Slave Lake.

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