How about those stereotypes, eh?
The Last Resort gives us a reason to laugh at ourselves
Article: Destiny Kaus – A&C Writer
From Sep 18 to Oct 6, the Globe Theatre presents the musical The Last Resort. This musical murder mystery originates from the book by Norm Foster and features music and lyrics by Leslie Arden, one of Canada’s most talented musical theatre writers.
“It’s a murder mystery, so I can only tell you so much, but it’s a really fun mix of genres. It’s a musical theatre piece but it’s also a murder mystery and it’s also a Canadian farce so it’s just a riot,” declares The Last Resort’s director Max Reimer.
Reimer gives credit to Leslie Arden’s compositions as one of the main draws to The Last Resort.
“The music is really terrific. It’s Leslie Arden. It’s Canadian music. It’s really fun.”
The Last Resort is set in Northern Saskatchewan and takes place in a lodge bordering a lake. Antlers, a moose head, booze, an old piano, rustic furniture, and a broken elevator shaft fill the setting onstage. This musical also includes many satiric, stereotypical aspects of Saskatchewan life.
Laughing, Reimer says, “well it’s all done as it’s supposedly from the American perspective because it’s actually a couple of Americans hiding out and they’ve come to this remote lodge on purpose to make sure they can disappear. But, no place is completely remote. There’s always something going on so they fall into all these other story lines that are going on in Saskatchewan, so they’re exposed to life in Saskatchewan.”
One of the characters, Freda Heitz, continuously introduces herself by her name, which sounds like “Afraid of Heights.” This adds an extra comedic touch to the show and sprouts the irony that, in Saskatchewan, how can one be afraid of heights when the terrain is completely flat?
Act I introduces all the characters as they arrive at the lodge and meet each other, while Act II focuses on the murder mystery, which takes place during Brazilian night at the lodge. Director Max Reimer loves this part of the play.
“In Act II they’re in these bizarre costumes. That’s because all the murders take place while they’re in these Brazilian costumes. So, the fun of it, too, is the police inspector walks into the situation and, oddly, everybody is dressed in these bizarre costumes.”
Actor Cailyn Stadnyk, who plays the role of FBI agent Angela Miller, explains how she struggled to hide her chuckles in the beginning stages of rehearsals.
“I was a little bit nervous for a couple of weeks while we were in rehearsals because most of us weren’t even able to make it through a run without laughing. And, in fact, the other night when we had our first tech dress where we were here on the stage with costumes and stuff for the first time I had a laughing fit so hard that I had tears streaming down my face.”
Stadnyk reveals her previous acting experiences in Globe Theatre productions, which include Anne of Green Gables and Honk. Since she grew up in Regina, she fell in love with the script of The Last Resort.
“When I started reading the show I was laughing out loud from the first page because of the Saskatchewan references.”
Stadnyk believes that the comedy of this musical is not offensive in the least.
“I wasn’t offended at all! I just laughed the whole time so I think that most people should be laughing. If they’re not, they mustn’t have a funny bone.”
From the comedy, quirky characters, uproarious Saskatchewan references, and stunning music and vocals, audience members are bound to sit at the edge of their seats. The Last Resort causes heartbeats to rise and fall along with the flowing crescendos and decrescendos of every musical arrangement.