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“Possessed by Esther Cox” dinner theatre
August 9, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm$8 – $40
“Possessed By Esther Cox”
Reviewed by Lorne DeGroot
Live Bait Theatre’s latest production, “Possessed By Esther Cox,” written by Charlie Rhindress and Karen Valanne, opened in Springhill on Monday, July 22. The show, which originally premiered at Live Bait in 1996, was a wonderfully funny, historical romp, presented skillfully by a multi-talented cast.
The house was full as the lights dimmed, and from the outset, the outlandish antics of Grandma, aka Heather MacIntyre, along with the zany shenanigans of the entire cast, kept the audience in stitches.
Grandma’s son, Earl, played by Paul Allen Jr Brisk, was the fusion of Elvis Presley and Meatloaf. Earl sang with operatic quality even while suffering a wardrobe malfunction while strutting the stage. Grandma’s other son Rudy, played by Morgan Grant, was a lovable but uncontrollable souse. Gertrude played by Hannah Tuck, headed the Welcome Wagon committee, welcoming Grandma to her newly purchased, haunted Amherst retirement property.
One by one, the characters in this play were possessed and dispossessed repeatedly by the ghost of late Amherst legend, Esther Cox. The villain, Heloise Hardball played by Carley Varner, was hell bent on buying the whole town of Amherst, and turning it into an amusement park, despite strong local resistance to her vengeful plan. Momma’s boy, Woody Gump, played by James Hand, was the only one of the farcical characters not touched by the ghost of Esther Cox.
Audience participation delivered an elevated level of hilarity. The music and vocals were tight and professional, inspiring the entire assembly to engage their voices in harmony.
Two thumbs up for a fantastic night of rib tickling laughter, lively music, and fine acting which all together made for an exceedingly entertaining opening night for director Charlie Rhindress and the entire cast.
The show runs until July 27 in Amherst and then August 7-10 at the Sackville Legion. Tickets are available by calling (506) 536-2248, visiting Live Bait online at www.livebaittheatre.com or in person at Bargain Bennies in Amherst or Robert Lyon Graphics in Sackville.