The more rehearsals I attend for the Prairie Players current production of “Til Beth Do Us Part,” the more I believe I could really use a Beth in my life.
Oh, maybe not the part where she turns into a conniving, home-wrecking, career-stealing, blood-sucking vampire. (OK, I may have made up the vampire bit.) I’m talking about the first two scenes of the play, where Susannah Hayden, played by Lisa Marie Tessier, becomes overwhelmed trying to build her career with the Cincinnati branch of Carmichael’s Chocolates while trying to keep up at home. Her husband Gibby, portrayed by Wayne Loeppky, proves about as helpful as a pack of raccoons at a picnic...even though very little gets past his razor-sharp mind.
To Susannah’s rescue comes the deliciously wicked Beth Bailey, played by the equally delicious Nettie Neudorf. Beth cleans and organizes the house, fills it with fresh flowers, organizes the files, washes and waxes the car, prunes the tree, caulks the bathtub, and cooks a mouth-watering dinner. All in the same day. All while keeping everyone in stitches with her great sense of humour. That’s the Beth I want hanging around my house. While she does all my work, I could write the next best-selling novel.
Or at least read it.
But back to the stage play. If it simply ended there, with Beth sweeping in to solve Susannah’s problems, there’d be no story. But just like real life, all that glitters is not gold. Beth soon drives poor Gibby mad, taking over the household and threatening his position as king of his own castle.
Enter the Hayden’s friends. Margo, played by Danica Turcotte, and Hank, played by Jordan Thiessen, who divorced each other two years ago. Since they both display all the maturity of a toddler in a candy store, it’s no surprise these two couldn’t make their marriage work. Yet they come to Gibby’s aid in trying to save his marriage, which the southern belle, Beth, seems heck-bent on destroying.
And of course, no plot is complete without further complicating the conflict. Enter Susannah’s boss, Celia Carmichael, played by Vicki Hooke. She’s flying in from London for dinner, except she cancels at the last minute. So Margo, Hank, and Gibby must come up with a fake Celia to appease Susannah and uncover Beth’s true nature. Of course, the real Celia shows up anyway, but only after the fake Celia appears. Two British sounding, shawl-tossing Celia Carmichaels are too many chocolatiers for Cincinnati.
Naturally, it all escalates into a lot of hilarious closet hiding, door slamming, and sofa vaulting, complete with a surprise twist.
Just like real life.
What would you do, if you hired a ‘Beth’ to take care of all those time-consuming chores you’d just as soon ignore? Improve your golf swing? Volunteer somewhere? Take in a play? More importantly, would it be worth it when she reveals her dark side?
Come see ‘Til Beth Do Us Part’ at the William Glesby Centre, April 26, 27, and 28 at 8:00 pm and decide for yourself.