Summer Theatre in Strathcona

Photos by Megan Hoskins

One of the great things about summer is the chance to explore new worlds that theatre can offer, all in the beauty of the outdoors. Odyssey Theatre is one of those summer treats that should not be missed. Last week Odyssey began its summer run and not surprising, Odyssey has created a wonderfully entertaining, wonderfully acted and choreographed production of the funny, clever piece by 18th century Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni, The Amorous Servant.

This is a great play with a strong lead woman who is smart, strategic thinking and shrewd. Corallina (Lise Cormier), servant to the seemingly buffoon Florindo (Christopher Allen), tries to create peace and justice for Florindo, who has been banished from his father Ottavio’s home (David Warburton) by his gold-digging stepmother Beatrice(Suzanne Roberts Smith) who wants his father’s money all to herself and her dumbwitted son Lelio (Abraham Asto). At first Florindo thinks he loves Corallina, but she tries to find him a suitable partner in Rosaura (Tiffany Martin) daughter to Pantalone (Chris Ralph) who Lelio mistakenly believes loves him.

Clever, mischievous servants rule in the play and humour abounds in this light but entertaining piece with all the great characteristics of Commedia dell’Arte, including beautiful masks and great choreography.  Allen just dances across the stage and makes it all look so easy as does Joshua Browne who plays Arlechinno, a messenger/servant whose acrobatics are also impressive.

As for the acting, overall, the performances are strong and when over the top, appropriately so.  The bottom line is you can’t go wrong with Odyssey.

*Thursday nights, the Company sometimes hosts a Talk Back session and Thursday, July 27th after the show, join Giorgio Taborri, Counsellor for Emigration and Social Affairs with the Embassy of Italy in Canada, for a chat about Carlo Goldoni and the Italian playwright’s continuing role in Italian culture.

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