Wise guy storytellers and flappers entertain with a roaring ’20s flavour in Speakeasy

Wise guys and flappers at the Elks Hall

Pippa Ingram

Special to The Record

Speakeasy, The Forgotten Flapper – from TheatreWorks – is a light-hearted look at prohibition in the ‘20s. Writer/director Kymme Patrick offers a potpourri of genres in the witty, original script with elements of a whodunnit, a tragedy, a musical and a morality tale, to mention a few, with a delightfully ‘camp’ and clever use of satirical jargon reminiscent of the Roaring ‘20s.

Akin to a classical Greek chorus “who comments with a collective voice on the dramatic action,” there are storyteller Wise Guys who keep the narrative moving forward with repartee that reflects upon the societal mores of the times. Cleverly played, with a definite ‘Brooklynese’-flavoured dialogue, the Wise Guy roles mesh well and are sure to keep audience chuckles coming.

“I see my character Lorenzo close to the top of the food chain in this violent, often deadly era,” said Jerry Pittman. “However, as in real life, Lorenzo is not all bad. You can feel his partiality is for booze, dancing and ‘dames dressed to the nines,’ yet the murder of a young flapper whom he has never met still shakes him.”

“I’m having fun creating the character of Delchino,” said Gord Smith. “At the audition, I started right in with the Brooklyn accent because I thought of New York mobsters when I saw the names Lorenzo and Delchino. I really like the banter between Jerry and me – like a verbal sparring. He is awesome to work with.”

For Jon Faris, who plays Clyde, the thrust of the show is the reflection it makes of the ’20s.

“I think that while the murder mystery is a fun part of the play, it casts light on the different attitudes of the society at that time. The wise guys’ satire is perfect for the chorus/clown role they play while weaving together the social changes Speakeasy addresses. I’m enjoying creating Clyde’s persona, keeping him human – avoiding (for the most part) caricature – and the word play Kymme writes so well.”

Speakeasy promises great entertainment. Twenties music will entertain and includes an original song, Take Myself Out Dancing, written and performed by Joanna Finch, who portrays the speakeasy owner where the action takes place. It is onstage at the Lower Elks Hall on Sixth Street, May 12, 13, 14, with a start time of 7:30 p.m. Seating is festival and limited, so be sure to arrive early. Tickets are $15, available from cast members, at Laughing Oyster Bookstore and at the door.

 

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