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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

The Exquisite Hour

The Company / Morden, MB

Posted: 07/16/2009 12:50 PM | Comments: 0

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It’s always the quiet ones. This slow-boiling charmer penned by prolific Winnipeg-born playwright Stewart Lemoine (Pith!) delivers an unexpected comedy punch, along with a hint of fine romance.

Set in modest bachelor Zachary Teale’s (Brad Wieler) backyard in 1962, the Morden-based production opens with encyclopedia saleswoman Mrs. Helen Darimont (Jeanette P. Hoeppner) arriving unannounced to make an unusual sales pitch.

After quizzing Teale on his marital status and dating habits — and accepting several refills on her bourbon-spiked lemonade — Mrs. Darimont suggests that owning a 22-volume set of encyclopedias will endow Teale with knowledge he can use to strike up conversations with eligible young ladies.

To test her theory, Mrs. Darimont devises a series of role-playing scenarios, in which Teale gamely consults a sample volume and broaches subjects beginning with the letter H. For a while, their banter is merely humourous, but hilarity erupts when Mrs. Darimont attacks her roles with increasing theatrical gusto.

Hoeppner is an impressive ham when she adopts a French accent to play a deer, and her contortions during a faux chance meeting in a dentist’s office reach hysterical proportions. For Teale, and the audience, this turns out to be one exhilarating — and surprisingly happy — hour.

— Pat St. Germain
 

From the official Fringe program:

A sparkling comedy by Fringe fave Stewart Lemoine.

Bachelor Zack is approached one summer afternoon by a mysterious woman, Mrs. Darimont, asking for "an hour" of Zack's time. What happens next will surprise and delight.

Stewart Lemoine specializes in witty, slightly off-kilter dialogue and screwball scenarios.

RECOMMENDED: Mature Audience

60 min.

Venue#2 MTC Up the Alley 174 Market Ave (Entrance on John Hirsch Pl)

Tickets: $9

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