Fools' Gold

 

 Cast:   David Langlois, Aron DeCasemaker, Kesta Graham, Stephen LaFrenie.

Chris Humphrey (Stage Manager)

         

 

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  Fools' Gold  premiered in May 2000 and continues in high demand for touring to festivals and schools across Canada.  The show is available for booking. 

"Money serves Wise Men and governs Fools"

When Pantalone, the Miser conspires with Il Dottore to fake an illness to convince his daughter, Isabella to marry Count Viagra, he sets off a chain reaction of mirth and mayhem that catches everyone in its wake. Pretending that he is allergic to his gold, he tries to trick Isabella into the arranged marriage. Forced to choose between her father’s "dying" wish and her love for Lelio, she turns to Arlecchino, her father’s servant for help. Written and performed by a cast of talented commedia actors, Metaphysical Theatre brings you a show guaranteed to be a feast of foolishness.

 

Edmonton Sun (Alberta) Colin MacLean

TORONTO COMPANY'S LAUGHS GOOD AS GOLD!!

Fool's Gold - Stage 1 (Five Stars) 

   I thought the kid was going to fall off his seat.  He was about eight years old and he was laughing about as hard as an eight-year-old kid can laugh.  So was his mom.  And dad.  And everyone else.  It set me to thinking, between my own guffaws, of the continuing effect of commedia dell'arte, a comedic art form that can reach across 400 years and make some eight-year-old kid laugh in a 21st century Fringe.  Perhaps because it's so basic, so broad, so, well, just plain funny, that it has never really gone away.  You can slap names on its errant children - call them slapstick or vaudeville- but the lineage is obvious.

   Like getting a good custard pie in the face, commedia is an art and we have all suffered through efforts at pulling laughs from physical comedy by performers who just don't get it.  I am happy to report that this  Toronto-based company, performing Fool's Gold, not only gets it but is happily inspired.  Bouncing off the audience, the walls and each other with great glee, they make these silly centuries-old stereotypes as new as the latest Farrelly brothers movie.

   Pantalone (Stephen La Frenie- displaying the mastery of physical comedy that his years as a mime have left him) is a wizened old goat who is endeavouring to sell his dewy young daughter Isabella (Alexis Milligan- who takes what could be a simp and turns her into a bouncy, animated creature) to the local dirty old man Count Viagra (a comically overheated David Langlois).  He is first aided, then thwarted, by that favourite of this kind of theatre, the canny servant Arlecchino (light-on-his-feet Jeff Schwager).

   There is also the doctor whose cures are far worse than the affliction (Langlois again).  The plot has Pantalone and his doc trying to fake an illness so his daughter will take pity on him and marry the horny but rich old goat, while she loves the virile young local lout Lelio (Schwager).

   This is a company completely in control of its material and any show that can get Stockwell Day, Citizen Kane and bubblegum rock into one production has got to have something going for it.  Great moves. Great masks (by Donato and Amleto Sartori).  I could find nothing wrong with this show.  That kid is probably still laughing.

 

Kumsheen Secondary School (Lytton, B.C.)

October 25, 2004, Metaphysical Theatre,

Dear Actors;

                   A big “Thank you!” from Kumsheen for your performance “Fool’s Gold” October 5th.  It’s not often that performers hold the attention of our teenagers as you did and I’m not sure who enjoyed your performance the most, the students or the staff.  Whichever, it was great. It’s all about the money!  The play’s plot line held our attention but this could only have happened due to the wonderful acting. The actors conveyed their passion for acting and working with a young audience.  The students liked the “slap stick” style comedy and the humorous antics.  Adding masks to impart identity was a terrific idea and allowed for one actor to be several people. Fooled the audience! The teacher who took digital pictures will be forwarding them soon.  Any play reviews written by students will be forwarded to you as well.  It is always exciting when “real actors” (as opposed to those on a video) visit our school. Be assured that your visit was greatly appreciated and will be the topic of conversation for some time to come.  Thank you for your presentation.

Yours truly,

Judith Urquhart, Principal

 

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