• James Parry

Lorne Elliott stars in and stages The Fixer-Upper at Grove Hall in Huntingdon


PHOTO COURTESY FRANÇOISE DOLIVEUX

Lorne Elliott as hapless Bruno MacIntyre who wants to take charge of his own life, and Karen Cromar as his Aunt Tillie who doesn't think it’s such a good idea, star in The Fixer-Upper at Grove Hall, Huntingdon, November 24-26.

Hudson's comic master of mirth and mayhem, Lorne Elliott, makes no secret of the fact that he just loves Prince Edward Island, spending time there every year, when his busy cross-Canada schedule permits, relaxing, writing and creating.

However, not likely he would ever stay at the ramshackle cottage being renovated and fixed up by Bruno MacIntyre, with the 'help' of his clever, but caustic Aunt Tillie for rental in Savage Bay on the south shore of PEI. Sounds like a real fixer-upper tourist trap!

Which is exactly what it is, funnily enough. As penned by Elliott in his critically-acclaimed comedy, The Fixer-Upper - the novella adaptation of his play, Tourist Trap, first produced in 2000 - which is being staged in Huntingdon, Quebec, with three performances at Grove Hall, November 24-26, at 7 p.m.

Playing Bruno, opposite Hudson's Karen Cromar in the role of Aunt Tillie, Elliott's hapless character who wants to take charge of his own life sure has his work cut out for him. First, the cottage, inherited with a bad reputation from Bruno's ne'er-do-well father, must be renovated. Then, Bruno must duel with his aunt's wry insults and sly plans, a sardonic would-be author, and two torrid tenants.

In this comedy in seven phone calls, Elliott's celebrated gifts for sharp-witted repartee and vivid characterizations are in full force. So, too, are his keen eye and ear for our fumbling aspirations, bittersweet bantering, self-deception, hard-won wisdom, surprising tenderness, and zany outcomes. In other words, classic Lorne Elliott with a funny, brash, and cheeky Maritimes twist.

But beneath the humour, the play also explores pertinent questions on a deeper level - family relationships and communication between generations. What is expected from the older family members, and how the younger ones think they can handle situations.

Elliott, who is currently working on a novel and who has just returned from a tour in B.C., has had a busy year with several theatrical projects, including the premiere of A Better Play than Hamlet at Prince Edward Island Fringe Festival which he said worked beautifully, and the workshopping of his new musical titled Boomtown Opera based on Robert Service poetry and stories about the Klondike Gold Rush.

For more info on The Fixer-Upper or for reservations go to www.grovehall.ca or call (514) 791-5100. The address is 165 Châteauguay Street.

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