Playgoers of Lethbridge hope audiences will “Exit Laughing” from fall dinner theatre


Playgoers of Lethbridge hopes their audience will “Exit Laughing,” from the Country Kitchen, Oct. 22-26.Shelly David, Jocelyn Steinborn and Marcie Stork rehearse a scene from Exit Laughing. Photo by Richard Amery

 Playgoers of Lethbridge volunteers are  embracing Paul Elliott’s 2014 dark comedy “Exit Laughing” for their annual fall dinner theatre.

 Playgoers of Lethbridge, at 97-years-old this year, are  the oldest amateur theatre company in Canada, so director Linda Johnson wants to do the company’s history proud with their new production.

“ It’s a really funny dark comedy,” summarized Johnson, Playgoers of Lethbridge‘s co-artistic director.
 The comedy stars several familiar faces including Teresa Huszar as Rachel, who made her Playgoers of Lethbridge debut in the spring production of “Where’s Oscar.”
 The play also features Playgoers mainstay Shelly David as the simple, sometimes ditzy Millie, Jocelyn Steinborn as Rachel’s mother the conservative and always astute Connie, Marcie Stork as the wise-cracking, hairdresser Leona who was in ‘Til Beth Do us Part” and Josh Hammerstedt as the policeman.

“It is about four (southern) women who have been friends for decades who have bonded over a weekly game of cards. Then one of the ladies dies so Millie decides to borrow her ashes from the funeral home and brings them for one last game,” Johnson said.

Shelly David and Jocelyn Steinborn rehearse a scene from Exit Laughing. Photo by Richard Amery
“They worry about the police coming , and they do, but it isn’t as  it seems. It isn’t what they perceive cops to be. They’ve come to entertain by request of the deceased,” Johnson continued, adding Lee Prindle, who has an affinity for primarily female cast plays set in the south, brought “Exit Laughing” to the Playgoers of Lethbridge board.
Johnson said Prindle who has directed previous dinner theatres of  “ the Savannah Sipping Society,” “ Always a Bridesmaid” and “the Dixie Swim Club,” was asked to direct this play too.

“ But he wasn’t able to do it, though he offered to help in any way that he can. And he has,” Johnson enthused, adding the play is really taking shape.

“I wish I had a few more rehearsals though,” she said, adding she has enjoyed working with the cast.

“I’ve loved working with Josh. He wasJocelyn Steinborn and Teresa Huszar rehearse a scene from Exit Laughing. Photo by Richard Amery in  Boeing Boeing (in 2016). We have two people coming in from out of town, from Taber and Vulcan, so we keep the rehearsals to two hours long so  they can get home in good time. And the play is two hours long,” Johnson said.

“We just hope people come out and have a really good night at the theatre with us,” she said, noting there are adult scenes and some suggestive language.

“ But we still keep it clean,” she said.

 Tickets for the show are $58 at Casa. The show is at the Country Kitchen, beneath the keg on Mayor Magrath Drive
 Cocktails are at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 and the play to follow.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor