As usual and nothing short of what we have come to expect, Cow Patti Theatre Company heads straight down the miracle road towards a playful and touchingly heartfelt comedy. Where they lead the audience in the latest production, Ethan Claymore, is nothing short of that path.
Ethan Claymore, written by renowned playwright Norm Foster, plays at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club now through to mid-December.
As the very first show of the season on Nov. 19th and my second viewing of a Cow Patti Dinner Theatre production, I was yet again encouraged by the accessible content, which came through under the commanding direction of AnnaMarie Lea.
The story is a heartwarming holiday tale, filled with many sentimental moments that remind you what the Christmas season is really about – family and friends.
Ethan Claymore tells the tale of a struggling egg farmer who has given up looking for love and laughter just a few days before Christmas. Much to his surprise, Ethan is visited by the spirit, or ‘shadow being’ of his late brother, and along with the assistance of a high energy neighbour and a new woman in his life, will bring back the zest in his life.
Set in the ’70s, the play flashed back to when Ethan and his brother were children in the ’40s.
As Ethan goes through his five day transformation, he learns a few lessons and sees a few miracles that are a lot more exciting than the humble farmer has seen over the past five years. Brian Young plays the part of Ethan, Edward Chaplin as Douglas McClaren, Susan Greenfield as Teresa Pike, Allan Cooke as Martin Claymore, Ryan Scheltus as young Martin and for this showing, Tristan Hanrahan as young Ethan.
To begin, the acting from the cast members was no less than powerful. The audience wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry all throughout the production. By the end of the production, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
Young is excellent as the humble egg farmer, reluctant to accept change into his life, but eventually relenting and welcoming the seemingly unbelievable miracles into his life. It was interesting to watch him evolve throughout the play and really come out of his shell.
As Douglas, Chaplin was a bustling bundle of energy. He is the typical meddling neighbour – loud, boisterous, yet with the purest intentions. The audience was always brought to life each time he came on stage.
Then there is the shadow being, the enigmatic Martin played by Cooke. For the most part, this shoe-less ghost is Ethan’s true guide towards change. He also goes through an unexpected transformation himself and is the true catalyst in igniting the holiday spirit in the production.
This was also Cow Patti’s first production featuring younger cast members and Hanrahan and Scheltus were definitely up to the task and brought energy onto the stage.
For those who are looking for a light-hearted holiday comedy with some substance, this is an enchanting story for you. Be prepared to laugh and leave the show with a smile on your face. For Lea and her entire team, it is very evident they have put a lot of hard work into all aspects of the production, with a commitment to detail and showcasing the depth of the human condition.
Ethan Claymore runs now to Dec. 19th at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club. Performances are on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday evenings. Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 6:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday afternoons are brunch shows. The theatre is also hosting six benefit shows for various local community groups throughout the run of the show.
For more information about Ethan Claymore or Cow Patti Theatre, visit www.cowpatti.com. For tickets, contact the box office at 403-782-3956 or 403-304-6329.