Stage West’s rendition of “Drinking Habits 2” brought laugher and joy to an audience filled with couples, and families on Feb. 15.
The performance begins with two nuns, Sister Augusta played by Natascha Girgis, and Sister Philamena played by Esther Purves-Smith, trying to mastermind a plan to press more of their award-winning wine without anyone in the parish knowing while in the convent of the sister’s perpetual sewing in 1965.
It quickly becomes apparent that an orphanage where Paul who is a-priest-in-the-making played by Jeremy LaPalme, and Kate Madden making her Stage West debut playing Kate who is an expectant mother of twins, grew up for the majority of their lives is about to close the doors.
In an attempt to raise funds and keep the orphanage open and ensure all the children can stay, the parish decides to host a play.
However, organizing and rehearsing for the performance proves to be more difficult than anyone could have expected.
The parish runs into a variety of comical problems which hinder the performance.
Including Paul’s severe stage fright, Mother Superior played by Elinor Holt acting narcoleptic, Kate unable to stop eating, and grape juice used as a prop getting switched with the sisters’ award-winning wine, causing George played by Luc Trottier to be sloppy, and pass out on the stage mid-way through his performance.
Throughout the performance it quickly comes to light, that “Drinking Habits 2” is chalk full of hidden meanings.
The performance showcases an extremely close parish dealing with a variety of realistic problems within the group including miscommunication, which allowed for the audience to connect to the story.
While trying to overcome all the obstacles that were placed in front of the parish, each member learnt how to come together, help each other, and achieve the desired goal of helping the closing orphanage, no matter how difficult it was.
During the 90-minute performance, the performers especially the nuns, had the crowd laughing and at select times had the audience of roughly 250 people belly-laughing, cheering and clapping.
The acting was fantastic, and over the top at times, which was exactly what was expected.
The audience enjoyed the very niche-sense of humour the performance conveyed, it did not take long for the pace to get going and really get into the story.
The on the side romance story between Paul, and Sally, played by Calgarian Charlie Gould, seemed awkward, out of place, and rushed at times, but eventually came full circle and blossomed into a happy ending love story.
Although the entirety of the performance was not about the rekindled romance of ex-fiancés Paul and Sally, it did have a lesson regarding forgiveness, and putting aside differences or hurt to achieve a desired goal.
“Drinking Habits 2” was all in all an enjoyable performance.