Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

A special performance for the 12th Anniversary
Motley Theatre Company
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
Terrence McNally
with Ken Welsh and Anna MacKay-Smith

Friday February 27th
7 pm – please note early start
Royal Canadian Legion
109 Franklin Street, Uxbridge
pay at the door, no reservations

Frankie and Johnny was Motley’s very first play reading…

It has been twelve years since the twinkle in Ken Welsh’s and my eyes created the very first playreading that brought about the conception of The Motley Theatre Company. At the back of the old Combine Restaurant we performed a two hander called Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally on Valentine’s Day, 1997. The success of that, led to another performance of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee. This too was met with such enthusiasm that we started The Motley Theatre Company.

For eight years we produced a playreading a month for eight months of the year. That is 64 plays – comic, tragic, classical, brand new, small casts, enormous casts, Canadian, International. Some of the first ones had eight people in the audience – one that the audience even outnumbered the cast members. By the end of the eight years we were consistently bringing in over a hundred people to the Legion, the first Sunday of every month. We had incredible professional actors from Toronto and some who lived locally, including Neil Crone, Eric Petersen, Paul Gross, Graham Greene, Gordon Pinsent, Rosemary Dunsmore, Janet-Laine Green and Booth Savage, Rachel McAdams, Barbara Budd, Sheila McCarthy, Stewart Arnott, Sonya Smits, R.H. Thompson and many, many more wonderful actors. They all loved to perform for Motley and all of them commented on how incredible the Uxbridge audience was. They would ask to come back, which they often did, two or more times. It was also a joy to include Uxbridge’s own incredible talent of Ruth Smith, Conrad Boyce, Roger Varley and Suzanne Crone and more. Stephen Sword was our mainstay stage directions reader and often he kicked in to play an assortment of characters,

What wonderful memories. How often the audience, who became the Motley family, (first timers became instant members) would tell me they missed the readings which stopped in 2005. Having moved from Uxbridge, I too miss the readings and was thrilled when the Celebration of the Arts asked me for a reading for their Opening Kick-Off night for their amazing two week festival of the arts last September where we performed Painting Churches by Tina Howe to a fabulous reception. Just recently I have been asked for another Motley reading at Celebration of the Arts 2009.

All this as an introduction to the announcement that Ken and I, twelve years older and of course much wiser, will be performing Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune on Friday Feb. 27 at the Legion. It is still one of my favourite plays and what is the most amazing treat is that Ken performed in this as an original play on Broadway with Kathy Bates in 1987. To say the least I was a tad intimidated the first time Ken and I performed it. But I found out then that when you work with a brilliant talent like Ken, half of your work is done. He makes it so much easier because he never gives a false note. You rise to the occasion. We reluctantly acknowledge we are both too old to play these characters anywhere else but with Motley, but as I told him, in Painting Churches we were both too young, the characters being in their seventies. So we just average it with the use of my special brand of mathematical skills, and we are perfect!

We hope you will all come and relive the memories and for the first timers, join the family in our twelve year reunion party playreading.

$15 admission. 7 pm on Friday February 27…Pay at the door. No reservations.
For more information call Anna

Comments are Disabled