© Frank Gale
Carol Players of Labrador West brought “Everybody Loves Opal” to the stage of the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre as their entry in this year’s Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Drama Festival Wednesday night. Rehearsing a scene include, from left, Michael Drover, Lori Greene, Marty Byrne and Jennifer Cooper.
“Everybody Loves Opal” is The Carol Players’ contribution to the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Drama Festival, directed by Marty Byrne. This show is more than a comedy — it is one long April fool’s joke that only the audience is in on.
Opal Kronkie, played by Lori Greene, is a wealthy, middle-aged pack rat who resides in a rundown mansion near the town dump. Opal, being an eternal optimist, sees the good in everyone, including three low-life scam artists who make her a silent partner in their business so they can persuade her into getting life insurance with the motive of killing her for a quick payday. Opal remains oblivious to the attempts on her life made by her three beneficiaries.
The set was magnificent. Her home was filled to the brim with everything and anything imaginable. Opal’s “collectables” were strewn right to the edge of the stage, giving the audience a real sense of the severity of Opal’s hoarding.
Greene set the mood of this show from the first second she was on stage, as she clumsily dragged a small wagon filled with junk up a set of stairs while humming an oddly amusing tune. Greene managed to continue exuding this benevolent energy flawlessly throughout the show, despite some minor cue and line flubs made by several parties. The challenge of overcoming these minor incidents is an underappreciated art that Greene has mastered.
The trio of scam artists plotted her demise but, like the audience, they one by one grew to love Opal for her kind and generous spirit. In the end we find that Opal has unknowingly managed to reform the three crooks.
This play left audiences with a warm and fuzzy feeling and the belief that a positive attitude actually might conquer all.
Tonight, the Northern Lights stage “God of Carnage” by Yasmina Reza at 8 p.m.