file photo

Central Alberta Theatre kicks off New Year with Cliffhanger

Performances run Jan. 19th through to Feb. 9th at the Black Knight Inn

Central Alberta Theatre is delving into the New Year on a suspenseful note with Cliffhanger, which opens Jan. 19th at the Black Knight Inn.

Dinner starts at 6 p.m. with the play to follow. Performances of the play, which was penned by James Yaffe, run through to Feb. 9th.

Directed by CAT veteran actor Michael Sutherland, Cliffhanger – which was published in the mid-1980s focuses on a college professor and his wife (Henry and Polly Lowenthal) who, through a stunning and extraordinary turn of events, find themselves in quite the moral quagmire.

Henry is played by another very recognizable CAT alumnus Bob Greig, with Liz Bennett as Polly.

According to the synopsis, “Mingling suspense and humour, this ingeniously plotted thriller follows all the unexpected twists and turns that result when a seemingly mild-mannered professor of philosophy is driven to apparent murder to protect his reputation and career.”

Things get ugly when Henry and a particular colleague by the name of Edith Wilshire meet to chat about changes to Henry’s department.

It also so happens that one of Henry’s students, Melvin, also gets involved with the mix as he has certain knowledge about what Henry has been up to. A detective by the name of Dave DeVito also enters the picture so of course the pressure really starts to build. “He’s of course searching for a perpetrator.”

Jaret Pack stars at Melvin McMullen with Ryan Mattila as DeVito and Cynthia Edwards (another familiar face to CAT audiences not to mention a gifted actress in her own right) rounding out the fine cast.

A swirling tale of suspense results from the goings-on of all of the above, and Sutherland couldn’t be more pleased with his outstanding cast and how they’ve blended their talents together for a seamless and compelling production that packs a punch.

“There is comedy throughout, and it’s a really interesting play because there are also some really, really good lines. You don’t usually get laughs in something of this nature,” explained Sutherland. “It really builds right from the beginning.

“Rippling throughout the play are some really rich lines.”

Sutherland is really a terrific and engaging actor, having appeared in more than 30 productions over the years.

This marks his first time directing a major production on his own. He co-directed the exceptionally strong production of The Melville Boys for CAT in early 2017.

“The mark of a good manager is to put people around you who know what to do,” he said with a laugh.

As for his own directing style, Sutherland sees it as more of a ‘working alongside’ than that of micromanaging his talented troupe. And in the meantime, it’s been a joy seeing it all take shape as the weeks in preparation have passed.

“After seeing it come to life with other voices and actors doing other things, I see it – and the more we rehearse, I see it more and more.

“I also don’t want to be a micro-managing director,” he added, pointing out the key is to have actors’ explore the motivations of their characters to help ‘flesh out’ their roles. “I’m not going to say, ok, I want you to cry in this scene as opposed to saying, what does this mean to you? How are you going to show it? That way, they have to draw from within.”

For Sutherland, whether he’s acting or directing, there really is no place quite so magnetic as the theatrical world with all of its magic and camaraderie.

“For me, it’s all fun. I have so much fun. I have been very lucky to have been able to be associated not only with good people but with talented people.”

For tickets, visit www.tickets.blackknightinn.ca.

Just Posted

Lacombe Corn Maze celebrates 20 years in central Alberta

Kraay Family Farms will be celebrating the occasion all season

Buccaneers pillage Irish 36-0

Central Alberta bounces back after off week against Wolfpack

Lacombe business drives home with CARS Magazine 2019 Shop of the Year Award

Lacombe Auto Service Centre Ltd. looking to keep evolving with industry

Lacombe’s Chairs for Charity is back for second year

75 chairs to be auctioned off in hopes of raising $10,000

Community mourns the deaths of two Maskwacis toddlers

Siblings found drowned on family’s property

WATCH: Lacombe AUPE members picket against Bill 9

Union members say their constitutional rights have been ignored

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Bashaw seed cleaning plant holds official opening

New facility operating well since January

Most Read