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Mugs Coffee serves up hilarious adventures

posted May 22, 2018, 9:26 AM by Kathy Carr
Despite The Jets foray into the finals, Mugs Coffee was attended by 43 audience members over the course of a two night run.  The show, an original work written and directed by local librarian Beryl Brandt, drew some inspiration from an episode of the Bob Newhart Show and quite a few references to local Carberry lore.  
The story takes place at a coffee shop in the town of Taterton, where everybody knows your name and the locals gather every day to swap stories and catch up on current events. Currently the goings on are the taping of Taterton’s first local talk show produced by local camera man Hank Tucker played by Jacob Boyce and hosted by Dave Bet­terman played by Mattias Boganes. Jacob did an excellent job of getting across Tucker’s detail oriented consternation as he eagerly awaits the first pot of the day to finish brewing. Hank Tucker offers a delightful, straight-man’s contrast to the other colorful characters that make up the coffee shop scene. Owner Barb Ista was matronly portrayed by Natalie Clark, she takes no guff from cranky Tuc­ker with her no nonsense small town sensibilities. Barb playfully teases Tucker and warmly welcomes all her patrons, Natalie made her the perfect wise cracking hostess. My personal favorite locals would have to be retired teachers Hetty Mills, played by Celia Boganes and Tina Bel­lows, played by Allie Lavich.  These ladies’ banter was hilarious, timed perfectly and effectively emphasized at just the right moments, I found myself wishing these ladies had a show of their own!
What coffee shop would be complete without a teenage waitress, never on time or appropriately dressed for work but charming all the same? Meet Georgina or “Georgie” as the locals know her, endearingly played by Andee Niko­laisen.  Andee is the type of performer who always offers up a striking physicality, my eye is always drawn to her at dance recitals and this performance was no exception.  She is totally believable as Georgie with her carefree lean against the coffee bar, rebellious hair tosses, and “say what?!” head tilts.  Despite the attitude, the way Andee levels out her performance with just the right sized drop of sweetness to make this portrayal well rounded and a pleasure to watch.  
Georgie and chum Felicity Aiken played by Ellyanna Christenson are a delightful duo adding a fun and playful contrast to the staunchness of Hetty Mills and Tina Bellows.
In addition to the colorful staff and patrons of Mugs Coffee are some slightly simple, but nevertheless delightful guests interviewing for Dave Betterman’s talk show.  
Josh Brinks played by Keenan Molyneaux, is a Taterton hero with a knack for being in the right place at the right time.  Keenan colors this beloved local resident with a loveable “aww shucks” attitude, his portrayal of this delightful simpleton made the audience laugh and gave great comedic contrast to talk show host David Better­man’s increasing cynicism. 
When coming up empty in the words department, local handyman Franklin Alexander, played by Tyson Chris­tensen comes to Josh’s rescue!  Tyson’s performance of Franklin’s ac­count of ‘the Big Game’ was flawlessly executed, I felt like I was right there in the stands watching it unfold.  
In addition to the local hero being interviewed for this auspicious television show is local actress Candie Flause played by Rowan Scott.  Rowan does a great job of getting across the formidable Flause whose claim to fame is a movie filmed locally in the 90s starring Russel Crowe.  She commands the respect of a regal representative who has touched down to earth just for this public ap­pearance, so her fans may have an opportunity to pay their respects and adoration.  
Her bestie Delores Smith, a local shop-keeper played by Cadence Lavergne is always up to date with the current goings-on. Delores is the first to run into the auspicious author from Toronto Lieutenant Archibald Nel­son, played by Gareth Nikolaisen. Cadence had a lot of important information to deliver in terms of setting up the plot, this she did flawlessly without skipping a beat!  
The climax of this show is the Lieutenant’s interview with Dave Betterman.  
At the start it seems that this author has led quite an exciting life, Gareth presents this character as careful with his words while he delicately reveals the details of his story. When we realize the ludicrous nature of the Lieu­tenant’s claims during his big reveal of a picture he possesses of dinosaurs in the Amazon, it is shockingly hilarious! Gareth does an impeccable job of the interview lead up and presentation of this plot bomb, thus appropriately setting up the mystery as Archibald Nelson disappears in the final act.
This show was so amazing!  I can’t say enough about how im­pressed I was by the story, acting, make-up and lighting design that went into this noteworthy performance.
Special thanks; to Beryl Brandt, who put the exhausting work into creating this show, Melanie Lavich for corralling the talent and assisting the actors with learning their lines, Kirsten Boyce and Sarah Graham, who did a great job with the make-up, Jerrold Nikolaisen who programmed the lights and executed them for the show, and John McNeily of WCGtv for filming the show for broadcast.

by Amy Urquhart
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