BY KALISHA MENDONSA
Cow Patti Theatre is once again successfully delighting audiences with their latest performance, a ‘classic whodunit’ titled The Butler Did It.
First, to get in the mood, guests are welcomed into the Lacombe Golf and Country Club and fed a delicious meal to tide them over until the show begins. The expertise of the Golf and Country Club kitchen staff continues to impress with their fine spreads and delicious desserts.
After guests have been sufficiently fed, the lights dim and the Cow Patti Theatre troupe – currently featuring a number of notable Toronto-based actors – takes to the stage.
The plot is driven by the nefarious intentions of eccentric writer and director Anthony J. Lefcourt, played by Allan Cooke, who is taking his art to the next level by staging a real murder of one of his actresses.
Each of the actors was challenged with the role of acting two roles within the play: the subject of Lefcourt’s performance, as well as the actors who play those roles.
The amazing range of each actor lends credibility to the performance and enhances the experience with their complexity and diversity as a crew.
Cooke’s extreme facial expressions and wild bodily gestures bring his character to life as an excitable and scheming ‘mastermind’ who will stop at nothing to bring his performance to life. His mannerisms and intense acting suited the role perfectly.
Notable television actor Garfield Andrews plays Raymond Butler, the smart and proper patriarch of the Butler family. Andrews’ role was stoic and well-played with an air of suave sensibilities and calmness throughout the performance.
Alison MacKay took to the stage as Victoria Butler/Claudia, the snooty Butler daughter who is enticed by Lefcourt and generally oblivious to the perils around her. The Butler Did It is MacKay’s Cow Patti Theatre debut performance and she will likely be returning to the group, as she engaged the audiences with her beautiful singing and strong acting.
Linda Goranson played the role of Angela Butler/Natalie – the subject of Lefcourt’s proposed murder, and wife of Raymond Butler. At first we see Natalie as a happy-go-lucky, oblivious character but we are soon introduced to Goranson’s range as Natalie shifts to being a hungry diva.
Eric Finlayson was able to play the role as both sophisticated butler to the Butler family as well as street-raised Michael, a sensual and troublesome young man who gets caught up with his relationship with Natalie – and maybe even Claudia. His comedy and vibrancy shine through his roles and delighted the audience.
Our final actor on the stage is a seasoned veteran with Cow Patti, as well as a TV and film actor, Patric Masurkevitch.
His diversity as an actor also sparkles through his performance as gruff Detective Mumford constrasted by his flamboyant character of Sam.
Each of the actors graced the stage with spectacular physicality, beautiful projection and a gracious use of stage space. The actors were challenged by playing dual roles where each character is a strong contrast to the others.
The performance is witty and well-written, with twists and turns around each and every corner. Audiences are captivated by the thrilling potential of murder while being forced to laugh at the outrageous and diverse characters of The Butler Did It.
Once again, Cow Patti Theatre group has brought a striking and extremely well-done performance to Lacombe.
For ticket information, call 403-304-6329 or 403-782-3956.