by Andrea Howard

Theatre Night in Merrickville has been entertaining villagers and visitors for 42 years! The award-winning tradition will continue this December with our production of “My Three Angels”, by Sam and Bella Spewak.

The story takes place in 1910, on Christmas Eve, in a shop in French Guiana. The shopkeeper has hired three convicts from the local prison to repair his roof. The cons overhear their boss worrying about family and business troubles that might lead to their losing their jobs. And these truly tough guys have started falling in love with the nice folks they work for! So, using not altogether lawful methods, the convicts set about putting things right. “My Three Angels” is a light comedy of errors, with enough cons ‘n scams and twists ‘n turns to keep the audience spellbound. Oldsters among us may recall the classic 1955 buddy film, “We’re No Angels”, starring Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov.

Our three angels will be Al Billiald, Stephen Fuller, and Ian Bell. The shopkeeper, his wife and daughter will be played by Roly Roy, Sheila Cook and Peyton Horning. Dick Shearman and Michael Phillips play the unwelcome family. Shirley Molloy is the local busybody, and Chris Chinkiwsky will make his acting debut with a cameo role. The play is produced by Bronwen McKnight and directed by Margaret Shearman, the grande dame of TNIM, whose swansong, alas, this production will be.

And what a crew they have engaged: fully 20 volunteers are involved in creating the show – from stage managers, costume, sound, lighting, properties and set designers, to builders and painters, to musicians and make-up artists. Another 10 or so kick in to bring it home: publicity, tickets, programs, lobby decoration and canteen. International students from Fulford Academy practice their English by being ushers, and join the dozen volunteers enlisted just to transform the Merrickville Community Centre into a 200-seat theatre, in order to showcase our top drawer productions for your amusement. Well, we have fun doing it too… especially for a full house! And it’s never too late to get involved. What can we say… it takes a village to raise a curtain!

So, to lighten the holiday season, plan to kick back for a good laugh with some fine, live, community theatre. “My Three Angels” will play Friday and Saturday, December 8 and 9, at 7:30, and Sunday December 10 at 2. Tickets are available online at www.merrickvilletheatre.org, or in person at Mrs. McGarrigle’s Fine Foods and the Merrickville Book Emporium.

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