• James Parry

Parrywinkle, Dec. 2, 2017

With Christmas Day now just four days away if you are reading this on Thursday, December 21 and our last until our next issue of Your Local Journal out on January 18, let's go a bit silly this week. And talk Panto! More specifically about Hudson's very own locally produced pantomime, Camelot, double cast, now on stage at Hudson Village Theatre through January 7, and the only one of its kind with an extended run in Quebec if indeed not throughout all of Canada.

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COME A LOT FOR CAMELOT - Together with my beautiful Sunshine, partook in the official opening night. And, along with virtually everyone else in the audience, we booed. Unrestrained and very vociferously. But only when the baddies were on stage. For when the heroes and heroines appeared, we cheered loudly encouraging them on their quest to ensure that by the end of the evening and against all odds love conquered all.

Of course, as with any Panto - developed partly from the 16th century commedia dell'arte of Italy and other European and British stage traditions, such as 17th-century masques and music hall - there's always a lot of odd stuff going on in such productions. Men playing women. Women playing men. Bad puns, the badder the better. Dancing and singing, sometimes in step and in key. And a whole raft of zany goings-on with a cast of characters that boggle the mind. Ah, but you gotta love it!

And not just because of all the hard work that goes into staging such a production on the part of so many volunteers aged from youngsters to seniors and for months leading up to when the curtain rises. Which, for the first time ever at HVT I do believe, actually did on this occasion. But because it is always laugh-filled community theatre at its best that the whole family can enjoy.

In this year's production, directed by Steve Walters, there is so much to enjoy. From the opening act to the grand finale. Sets by Jean Claude Olivier are stupendous. Costumes by Karen Pearce are fantabulous. And as for the cast and crew, well I do believe that King Arthur would have knighted them all!

For more info and reservations, call the Box Office at (450) 458-5361 or go to www.hudsonvillagetheatre.ca. Laugh yourself silly and see photos on YLJ's Facebook page.

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CAROLS WITH A TWIST - And to close my last column of 2017, thought you might get a kick out of the following which, according to YLJ wag, Jane Kirkwood, actually happened. Or there again perhaps not. Apparently, earlier this week, a frenzied young man ran into a pet shop in Vaudreuil-Dorion looking for an unusual gift for his wife, The shop owner suggested a parrot, named Chet which, he claimed, could sing famous Christmas carols. This seemed like the perfect gift and so the young man asked excitedly, “How do I get him to sing?”

“Simply hold a lighted match under his feet,” replied the owner who then did so under the parrot's left foot. Well, Chet began to sing. Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells. The shop owner then held another match under the parrot's right foot. Chet's tune changed, and the air was suddenly filled with Silent Night, Holy Night...

Well apparently the young man was so impressed that he promptly paid and ran home as fast as he could with Chet under his arm. When his beloved saw her gift, she was overwhelmed. “How beautiful!” she exclaimed. “Can he talk?”

“No,” her hubby replied. “But he can sing. Let me show you.” At which point he whipped out his lighter and placed it under Chet's left foot as he had been shown and Chet crooned Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells. He then moved the lighter to Chet's right foot and out came Silent Night, Holy Night.

His wife, her face filled with curiosity, then asked, “What if we held the lighter between his legs?” Her husband, eager to please her, replied, “I've no idea but let's try it.” So together they held the lighter between Chet's legs. Chet twisted his face, cleared his throat, and the little parrot sang out loudly like it was the performance of his life. Are you ready for it?

Chet's nuts roasting on an open fire…

And on that note, I bow out until our next issue on January 18. And, from my Sunshine and I, a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all.

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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