• James Parry

Parrywinkle, March 1, 2018


Photographed during a rehearsal this week, local actors Lisa Vindasius, Joseph Dineen, Norma Murphy, David Fisher, Irene Osprey, Susan Gilmore Lombard, and Peter Williamson, promise a barrel of laughs when the Hudson Players Club launches its 70th season March 15.

I will never forget the first time I was introduced to the Hudson Players Club (HPC). Or rather, when members first introduced themselves to me. It was shortly after my beautiful Sunshine bought our home in town some 40 years ago and we decided to check out the local theatre scene.


AH, FRESH BLOOD - Playing for one night only was a play reading of Agatha Christie's murder mystery, Arsenic and Old Lace, at St. Mary's Church Hall on Main Road. Following which, there was a delightful and most civilized reception replete with glasses of sherry, endless cups of tea and, if memory serves me correct, crustless cucumber sandwiches. There again, as one progresses in years, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also my memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Kaboom!

Not knowing anyone there, and long before writing for a community newspaper here, we kind of stood at the back minding our own business when, out of the blue, this most distinguished elderly lady who had been in the cast approached us with a big smile.

“Ah, fresh blood,” she gushed looking right at me through thick glasses. “Do you act? And what is your name? We are always looking for handsome young men for our shows and I do believe that you would fit right in.”

I laughed so loud, I almost busted a rib. Well, I never did get to act with the club, but I have been an unabashed fan ever since. Which is why I am eagerly looking forward to the opening of its 70th season with the fast-paced, thought-filled and, in this age of seemingly incessant scammers, perhaps most timely comedy, Jack of Diamonds, from March 15 through 25 at the Hudson Village Theatre.

To learn more, I caught up with HPC President, Steve Walters, at a rehearsal earlier this week and I have to tell you dear readers it promises to be a real hoot!


MOVE OVER MADOFF - Said Steve, “It's the ideal show for our 70th Anniversary in that we believe it is important to look to our past while moving into the future. Not only is it witty, poignant, and farcical, but it is also a perfect opportunity to showcase some of our incredibly talented older actors from throughout the community.”

As for the plot, and without giving too much away, suffice to say that five seniors - including Jack - are all living in a rather luxurious and privately-owned retirement home and they have all entrusted their life savings to a smooth-talking financial advisor. When, they suddenly discover that he has been arrested for bilking his clients out of those savings through a Ponzi scheme.

Faced with financial ruin, imagine their surprise, and horror, when the Ponzi perpetrator is unexpectedly delivered among them, along with several million dollars in diamonds. Exit stage left Bernie Madoff, currently serving 150 years in the slammer. You ain't seen nothing yet!

Jack of Diamonds does see, however, Don Anderson - talented thespian in his own right - taking the mantle of director for the club once again, having directed two previous HPC productions to date. Namely Lysistrata and the hilarious farce, Whose Wives Are They Anyway? For tickets or more info, go to hudsonplayersclub.ca or call (438) 923-6828. And just in case you were wondering, no, I'm not in this play either. Although, and pardon the pun, I do look forward to being part of a full house in the audience!


JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED - Meanwhile, this just in from another senior's residence in the region. Although, to be perfectly honest, I cannot vouch for its veracity. Evidently, a distraught resident there recently phoned her doctor's office and asked, “Is it true that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?”

“Yes, I'm afraid it is,” the doctor gently answered. There was a moment of silence, before the elderly lady replied, “I'm wondering then just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked 'No Refills'! Oops, just checked and it isn't true. But come on, admit it. You did get a chuckle, didn't you?