Kaiden Ross (left) and Ken Ingram play a multitude of characters in The Moose Under Coyote Sleeping

Kaiden Ross (left) and Ken Ingram play a multitude of characters in The Moose Under Coyote Sleeping

Theatre Review: Not your ordinary history lesson

Watching The Moose under Coyote Sleeping is one of those once-in-a-lifetime, one-of-a-kind events which defines living in a small town.

Watching The Moose under Coyote Sleeping is one of those once-in-a-lifetime, one-of-a-kind events which defines living in a small town.

A full-length original dramatic comedy written by Lumby’s own Phil Wagner, the play features remarkable performances by a talented group of local amateurs.

Seeing familiar faces (Audrey Mazzega-Ingram and Ken Ingram from the Café Mazzega, for example) in lead roles is truly delightful.

It is also an honour to have representatives from both the Shuswap and the Okanagan nations provide powerful narration, setting the context for our history.

If you have not read the books Grassroots of Lumby and Grassroots to Treetops, you are going to find the dialogue fast paced, like a roller coaster, particularly as many of our diverse immigrant’s accents are tackled so bravely.

Watching one actor switch from French to English or Chinese in the course of minutes, makes for both humour and respect.

Speaking of multiple languages, credit is also due to four people who helped with translation during the writing and production of the play: Kevin Yap (French), Ying Jun Li (Mandarin), Donna Antoine (Shuswap) and Ruby Alexis (Okanagan).

Racing through vignettes, portraying  more than 100 years of recorded history as well as legends and myths from pre-contact times, The Moose Under Coyote Sleeping has given local artists, technicians and stage hands a wonderful opportunity to stretch themselves.

Particular credit must go to James Postill for the concept art and production of the intriguing set, and Annette Welz for creative costuming (you have to see Gladys Duke’s wedding dress). But in naming two people I run the risk of offending the dozens of others who created marvelous props and set pieces inspired by true events in the Monashees: Pete Catt’s tractor court and the chicken coop school bus are particularly delightful as well as historically accurate, but there are modern surprises too. (Hang gliding anyone?)

I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening enjoying local history. Only three performances are left, so don’t miss out.

Tickets are available at the door of the Charles Bloom Community Theatre in Lumby. Doors open at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23 to Saturday, April 25.

– Submitted by Robin LeDrew, of Lumby, B.C.