In its 22nd Season of Live Professional Dinner Theatre, The Cow Patti Theatre Company is starting to raise the barn on a season that we know will be your Favorite by a Country Mile!
This season, Cow Patti has chosen two plays for their 22rd season that are penned by two iconic playwrights, The Odd Couple by America’s most famous playwright Mr. Neil Simon and our second show of the season, Halfway There by Canada’s most celebrated Playwright Mr. Norm Foster. When looking at when these shows were first produced: The Odd Couple in 1963 and Halfway There in 2016, I couldn’t help but notice that even though they were written 41 years apart, there is a through line in both that makes them both timeless. First and foremost, humour! Both men are genius at creating characters and situations that could easily be your friends next door - real people in real situations. Whether it’s the guys getting together for a game of poker or the gals getting together at the local diner for a coffee. Both plays tell a wonderful story that will entice and entertain our audiences. I have produced both playwrights many times before and am ecstatic to be doing so again!
With the passing of Mr. Simon this August, I am honored to be producing his signature play. My career as a stage actor began in 1986 with Mr. Simon’s play: Brighton Beach Memoirs, personally it is very fitting to pay special tribute to a playwright that I have a long history with as an actor, producer and director.
We have a lot of great things in store for our audiences this season. We are thrilled to be holding our Benefit performances again this season for ten, very worthy, non-profit organizations: November 15th Sawyer Kiist Passion for Life Bursary, November 24th Caroline Seniors, December 1st Kasota East Camp, December 6th Bentley Library Society, December 8th The Lending Cupboard and December 9th for The Lacombe Performing Arts Center Foundation. During our second production- Half Way There, our benefits will be: GramaLink Africa, March 16th, 2019, Rocky Pioneer Seniors, March 23rd, 2019, Kasota East Camp, March 30th ,2019 and St. Luke’s Restoration, April 6th ,2019. To date, Cow Patti has raised over a half a million dollars for many groups using the tool of professional theatre to enhance our communities financially and to bring a voice to this amazing groups!
When planning the season, I wanted to ensure that we accommodate the huge span of people we entertain. So, between: Wing Wednesdays, Senior Discount Brunch Wednesdays (which are all SOLD OUT), Taco Thursdays, Group Discounts (both new this season) Weekend Brunches, and AAA Prime Rib Weekends. We have something to fit everyone from 9 to 99 and their pocket books.
This season, not only are we going to be offering up two great scripts to our audiences but the actors that will bring these characters to life will be joining us from all over Canada! Some are new to the Cow Patti Stage and others are ones you have come to love over the years at Cow Patti!
In our production of The Odd Couple, Garfield Andrews will be plying the lead role of Felix Ungar, Garfield has been working with Cow Patti since 2000 (for Cow Patti- Alberta - The Butler Did It, Perfect Wedding, Odd Couple Female version and The Long Weekend) Not only has Garfield has been on the Cow Patti Stage many times both here in Alberta and back in Ontario for many seasons he is a true family friend and a force to be reckoned with when it comes to comedy theatre!
Our Oscar Madison will be Sal Scozzari, this will be Sal’s first time treading our stage and judging by his 30 plus year resume which includes working for Mirvish Productions- nationally and internationally, the Stratford Festival and has an acclaimed credit in the movie Hairspray, to name but a few, we are feeling lucky to have snagged this guy!
Our Poker players Speed, Vinnie, Murry and Roy are all new to Cow Patti as well, except our Roy who is being played by Eric Finlayson. Our audiences loved Eric in our production of The Butler Did It! For the last two years Eric has been in Japan working for Disney as Prince Charming and Jack Sparrow. We are absolutely thrilled to have Eric back in Canada as part of our cast!
Liam Collins will be our Murry, Liam Collins, is the son of Jesse Collins, who directed The Ladies Foursome for us (2015) and is directing our second show of the season Half Way There. Liam recently received his master’s at McGill University in Computer Science but with both parents in the theatre business, Liam has dabbled in theatre all his life and we are very happy to help nurture this young talent.
John Dickhout will be treading the Cow Patti Boards for the first time as Vinnie. John carries a special story- John spent many years in the corporate world and was very involved in community theatre. Nearly three years ago John was a heart recipient and after his recovery he was able to meet the parents of the young man from whom he received the gift of life. With the bucket list John had created prior to his surgery and learning about Adam, his donor, and Adam’s love for the arts, John gave up the corporate world and started pursuing his career as a professional actor. We’re blessed to have John’s story continue with Cow Patti.
New as well to Cow Patti is Mark Burgues, a seasoned actor who’s career spans over 30 plus years. An actor who has worked across Canada from the Vancouver Playhouse to the Shaw Festival, his resume is very impressive, and our audience is in for a treat to have this talent entertain them. Rounding out the cast is myself and Valerie Barrett playing the Pigeon Sisters. Val and I have shared the stage many times since Cow Patti’s beginning in 1997 but it will be the first time we have played sisters!
So, on behalf of myself and the entire HERD at Cow Patti, join us at The Lacombe Golf and Country Club for an afternoon or evening that will sure to tickle your funny bone and tempt your taste buds. For more information on our season please contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403 304 6329.
Our 21st season of Professional Comedy Dinner Theatre was an enormous success, we saw many new faces and many familiar ones that have been a part of Cow Patti for many years. We entertained folks from all over Alberta with shows that delivered many giggles, nostalgic moments and delectable buffets. Our senior brunches were a huge success with groups travelling to Cow Patti from all over Alberta, notably, we had groups come all the way from Carsland and Athabasca!! Our Annual Stage Kiss Competition during our Valentine Weekend was hilarious, and this year our grand prize winners Deb and Brian Inions, won a romantic stay at Fairmont Hot Springs!
We held 12 Benefit Performances for some very deserving groups and raised an astounding amount of money but more importantly much awareness was gained. With our production of The Christmas Express we raised over $23,000.00 and with our production of Here on the Flight Path we raised $13,510.00, which brought our grand total for our 2017/18 Season to over $36,000.00!! During our first show of the season, our opening night was a Benefit for Sawyer Kiist, Sawyer was a young man who played the role of Peter in our production of Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii, sadly he passed away last March. Cow Patti along with the Kiist family decided to have a benefit show in his memory to start up the Sawyer Kiist Passion for Life Bursary. During the following months we had over 50 young people apply for Sawyers Bursary and in the end the Kiist Family picked 3 young individuals to receive the gift which we presented to them on our closing show of the season Sunday, March 11. The recipients were: Alex Adamson of Red Deer AB, Acacia Sproule of Lacombe AB and Josiah Thompson of Ponoka AB. All three recipients had diverse passions and as Rudy, [Sawyers Dad} so eloquently put it on presentation “you all remind us a little of our Sawyer”.
Cow Patti and the Lacombe Golf and Country Club take a lot of pride in producing top notch entertainment for our patrons and each season we are left feeling challenged to up our game and provide our patrons with new flavors and exciting stories. We have a few new ideas in store for next season which we will be announcing in July. Until then we are back to the drawing board to create a new season that will intrigue, educate and enhance the lives of everyone involved with Cow Patti, whether it be the artists performing, the benefits we acknowledge, the job opportunities for local folks but most importantly carrying on with the traditions and mandate we started 21 years ago: Entertaining folks with professional comedy theatre that has a lot of heart and using that tool to enhance our community through good food and laughter!
We look forward to seeing you all in November of 2018
The Christmas Express which ran for five weeks at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club this past November/December was Cow Patti's most successful show to date. Embarking on a show with such a large cast was a huge undertaking for us but what a pay off. We have had hundreds if not thousands of amazing and gracious comments on how The Christmas Express blew it out of the park! Not only did we break records in patrons coming to Cow Patti but the percentage of new people at Cow Patti rose by 29%! We entertained over 70 Christmas Parties, had sell our crowds with our Senior Wednesday Brunch Matinee's and saw over 400 young people at our school matinees. We also introduced a more affordable evening with our Wing Wednesday and this season with our Coffee and Cannoli Thursdays.
Cow Patti and The Lacombe Golf and Country Club raised over $23,000.00 for our 6 Benefits during The Christmas Express: The Sawyer Kiist Passion for Life Bursary, Medicine River Wild Life Center, Kasota East Camp, Caroline Seniors, Clive Resource Center and Friends of the Library and The Lending Cupboard. It gives us great pleasure to use the tool of Professional theatre to enhance our communities. Of course, we host these Benefits to raise money but more importantly, to raise awareness and conversations to help build on a stronger foundation for the future success of these very worthy causes.
Our first benefit performance of our 21st Season, was put in place by family and friends of Sawyer Kiist. Sawyer was a young man that was part of Cow Patti for numerous seasons most notably when he played Peter in our production of Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii. Together, we have created the Sawyer Kiist Passion for Life Bursary and have raised a substantial amount of monies to start it up. Now it' s time to make people aware. Annually we will be distributing a bursary valued at $1000.00 which will be a huge influence for their passion. Whether it is post secondary education, extra curricular activities or support in bringing whatever their passion might be to life we would love to include all in consideration. We invite young people to send in their submission whether it be a letter, a power point presentation or a short video to Sawyers family in request of assistance. We ask in their submission that they tell us a bit about themselves, their passion and why they are persevering it. With the Sawyer Kiist Passion for Life Bursary we are determined to keep Sawyer's memory alive and along with the Kiist family we look forward to being a part of some young peoples lives and watch their journey's continue in a positive and bright path. The deadline for submission for this season will be March 1 2018 and on our closing show of Here on the Flight Path, Sunday March 11 2018, we will be presenting this years recipient. Please forward your submissions to email@example.com or Box 217 Clive, AB T0C-0Y0
Next up, opening February 14, 2018 is Here on the Flight Path by Canadian Playwright Norm Foster. A poignant comedy play that tells the story of novelist John Cummings who lives on the edge or Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Over the course of 31/2 years 3 different women move in next door: a sophisticate consultant- Fay, Alberta Born Wannabe Country Singer- Angel and Vancouver born sad and single driving instructor- Gwen. Though the novel John sets out to pen never gets started, over the course of the three and a half years along with the diverse and humorous relationships with these 3 women, John learns a lot about life, love, women and himself. And it all comes to life through the genius comic lenses that playwright Norm Foster is brilliantly famous for. Norm Foster's trademark is to create characters that resonate with the audience. In "Here on the Flight Path", people will recognize themselves or other people they know, and that takes it beyond just funny to insightful. It's an intelligent comedy. Norm Foster's one-liners pull out all the stops, his characters are both funny and genuinely human, the pace is rapier quick and the laughter never ceases. And this play uses a device that makes it stand out: Foster breaks through the virtual wall that exists between the actors and the audience by having John Cummings talk directly to the audience from time to time, taking them into his confidence. This adds a whole other dimension to the comedic aspects of the play - think of the sofa scenes in the classic film "When Harry Met Sally" and more recently, on TV in the hilarious series, "Modern Family". Warmly empathetic, incisively observed, and wickedly funny. Norm Foster is unquestionably one of Canada's national treasures. "A two-hour laugh fest! A must see for anyone who enjoys a good long laugh." -Port Dover Maple Leaf " The roar of laughter was enough to drown out a jumbo jet." -Saskatoon Star Phoenix "Foster has delivered an entertaining evening of theatre simply by reviving the lost art of conversation." - Mississauga News "A true master at sending up our follies and foibles, Norm Foster also casts a kindly eye on the goodness in people. His perceptive insights into the undeniable gap between the genders resonates, even as the laughs abound." -- OrilliaPacket.com
Here on the Flight will be performed by two Cow Patti favorites, Brian Young last seen in the Christmas Express playing the lead Leo Tannenbaum and Debra Hale last seen in The Ladies Foursome. The show will be directed by Cow Patti's AnnaMarie Lea and will run for 4 weeks February / March 2018. So whether it be a Valentines date during our opening weekend which will include a chance to win a trip to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort with our annual Stage Kiss Competition or to join us during one of our 6 Benefit Performances in support of their causes or just a good excuse to get out of the house for an afternoon or evening for some good food and a good laugh. Cow Patti along with The Lacombe Golf and Country Club have the perfect fit.
For more information or to reserve your tickets to Here On The Flight Path contact us at 403.304.6329 or visit the web page.