By Aimee Grice
SOAP Theatre brings dysfunction to life on the stage for four nights only with Susinn McFarlen’s “Since You Left Us.”
Produced by Nathan Linders, Trevor Leigh directs this hilarious comedy centered on a flawed family who may just remind you a little bit of your own.
The story takes place in the East Vancouver living room of Denny, played by Aimee Grice. Denny is a dog-crazed middle aged woman who just wants a little respect for the love of her life, Jack, (who happens to be a 22-year-old Jack Russell Terrier).
Denny’s nephew Danno, played by Brian Hesje, has fled to Vancouver by bus to escape the clutches of his over protective mother, Fanny, played by Christine Rothwell. Fanny returns after 15 years to take Danno back to Toronto, and bring some much needed sanity to her West Coast family.
We are also introduced to the family matriarch Dolly, played by Valerie Heathman. Dolly is an admittedly oversexed party animal celebrating her 70th birthday with her family and her much younger boyfriend Chuck, played by Diane Gludovatz.
Rounding out the cast is Dolly’s son Mike, played by Jeff Smith, who desperately wants to get back to the party at Hooters.
“Since You Left Us” reminds us that amidst death, a 15-year grudge, too much alcohol and a bizarre relationship with a Jack Russell Terrier, love can hold a family together. You will laugh, cry and maybe even hold your family a little tighter afterwards.
SOAP performs “Since You Left Us” at the OSS Theatre in Osoyoos on April 28-29 at 7:30 and at the Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver on May 5-6 at 7:30.
Tickets are available online at venablestheatre.ca, and at the Frank Venables Theatre box office Tuesdays through Thursdays. In Oliver, tickets are available at Sundance Video.