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Thompson Playhouse: Colli and Smith on the Thompson babe-hunt

Members of Thompson Playhouse were back on stage Oct.
Louie and Dave on the Saturday night Thompson hunt for babes

Members of Thompson Playhouse were back on stage Oct. 16 to put on four brief comedy skits - their first public theatrical effort since long-time director Maria Hughes decamped six months ago for retirement in Prince Edward County in Southern Ontario.

Billed, "Cheap Comedy - Rich Desserts," the skits as a vehicle for members of the Thompson Playhouse to help out the dessert-bearing ladies in a fundraiser for John's United Church at 52 Caribou Rd., where the skits were performed.

St. John's, which just last month celebrated its 50th anniversary, serves as the rehearsal space for the Thompson Playhouse, so it is the theatre company's way of giving something back to the church, said Donna Wilson, chair of the board of directors of the playhouse and general manager of the Thompson Citizen.

This is an off year in the playhouse's two-year major theatrical production cycle, meaning they won't mount a major full-scale production again until next fall.

Their last was a year ago with John Mattera's adaptation of Bram Stoker's original vampire story, Dracula, one of the most widely produced in North America, at R.D. Parker's Letkemann Theatre.

It was directed by Hughes and co- produced by high school music teacher Wally Itson and Wilson. The production raised around $4,500, minus expenses, which was split between the playhouse and the fine arts department at the high school.

As always, provincial court Judge Brian Colli, who played the Dutch professor Abraham Van Helsing in Dracula, was in show-stopping form in the comedy skit "Louie and Dave," last Friday night. Colli plays Dave, who has been on the Thompson babe-hunt every Saturday night for about the last 30 years.

Aside from the usual bad pickup lines, delivered by Colli like a practiced pro from the driver's seat of his golf cart, lo-and-behold, Colli -- oops Dave - it turns out, is a genuine opera-loving, ballet-performing all-around public intellectual, facts he discloses to Louie, played by straight man Richard Smith (a Crown attorney in his day job), with great reluctance because Dave fears Louie will think less of him.

He does. Louie believes their Sunday afternoons would be better reserved for watching NFL football on TV.

But boys will be boys, so, of course, the bonding over the hunt for babes quite rightly prevails over Dave's regrettable, but ultimately to be overlooked, intellectual pretensions and love of symphony and ballet

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