Review by Norah Pendergast
Over the years since its construction in the summer of 1872, the St. Peter’s Courthouse Theatre has been the seat of such community institutions as law and education. In modern times it serves the purpose of a cultural center. The building has been beautifully restored and functions as a museum during the day, and on hot summer nights you can watch the sun go down over St. Peters Bay before entering to view community theatre—like Michael Pendergast’s latest play, The Ticket, which ran Tuesdays in July and August.
Quaint touches, like an old fashioned string-pulled curtain, and a man playing a female role, add authenticity to the historic experience. The Ticket was written specifically for the Courthouse Theatre, and the three character cast is played by local actors. Colloquial accents and rhetoric, and local references colour the funny dialogue.
The Court Jesters, formed three years ago, are an acting troupe exclusive to the St. Peter’s Courthouse Theatre. The Jesters originally comprised the cast of Michael Pendergast’s first play, Fiddle Case. This summer the troupe’s members include Adam MacIsaac, in the role of Mac, Jonah Anderson, as Velma, and April MacCormack and Sheryll O’Hanley who shared the role of Flo.
In the comedy a romantically unsatisfied wife puts her husband on a love regimen prescribed by a program which she ordered online. The pleasure which Flo derives from the romantic gestures she squeezes from her grumpy old husband demonstrate that keeping a woman satisfied in a relationship takes but the slightest of efforts.
As part of the prescription Mac is forced to sacrifice his favorite pastime—scratching lotto tickets. On the sly, Mac scratched a winner and hid it in an urn which held his mother-in-law’s ashes. When his arch enemy, Flo’s sister Velma, relocates the ashes the fun begins with much grumpiness and hilarious, inexplicable behavior from Mac as he carefully seeks a favour from Velma.
Viewing The Ticket at the St. Peters Courthouse was a heartwarming activity. Hopefully the Court Jesters and Michael Pendergast (my cousin) will return to the stage in St. Peters next summer for a fourth funny production.