Heart Institute Co-founder Hosts Musical Comedy Gala

Photos courtesy of Stone Fence Theatre.

One of the founders of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute is hosting a unique dinner theatre fund-raiser featuring a musical comedy that celebrates the Institute and Canadian health care.

Dr. Donald S. Beanlands, now an Honorary Associate of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and one of its founding members, is welcoming supporters of the Institute to a one-night benefit dinner theatre performance of the new musical comedy High Times at the Heart Institute in Ottawa on January 21.

The play was inspired by the personal experiences as a patient at the Institute of the show's playwright, Ish Theilheimer, who is Producer with Stone Fence Theatre. The company is bringing the play to Ottawa after a fund-raising tour through the Ottawa Valley last fall raised over $15,000 for local hospitals.

High Times at the Heart Institute, by Stone Fence Theatre, starring (from left) Shirley Hill, Lesley Sneddon, John Haslam,
Peter Brown and Fran Pinkerton plays at the Hellenic Centre in Ottawa on January 21. Proceeds benefit the Heart Institute.

The show's plot involves four heart patients who find themselves thrust together by their health issues. They include Bobby (Ottawa Valley rock regular John Haslam) and Wendy (blues diva and retired nurse Fran Pinkerton), two divorced aging rock and rollers who can't stand each other; left-wing cynic Arthur (Jazz Fest regular Peter Brown), and Tea Party American Maggie (Lesley Sneddon), whose health insurance company leaves her high and dry. Toni (Shirley Hill – a real live nurse), a stressed-out and overworked nurse tries to cope with all their needs. In the end, Wendy uses a secret from her old hippie days to save the day. Derek Tolhurst plays bass, Evan Burgess plays guitar, Peter Brown plays keys and Mr. Theilheimer plays percussion in the show, which is directed by Chantal Elie-Sernoskie.

"I am delighted to welcome all supporters of the Heart Institute to this dinner and show," said Dr. Beanlands. My colleague, Dr. Wilbert Keon, who attended its opening in October, assures me that it is both bang-on and hilarious. We need everyone's support, and this is a fun way to express it."

The show and dinner take place at the Hellenic Centre in Ottawa on Saturday evening, January 21, 2017. Tickets for the dinner and performance range from $85-$110 plus HST, with proceeds to the Heart Institute Foundation, for which patrons will receive a charitable tax receipt.

Tickets are available online at www.stonefence.ca or by calling toll-free, 1-866-310-1004.