Witty dramatic comedy to debut at Chemainus

Enjoy a rare Tennessee Williams tale from Sept. 9 to 24 as the Chemainus Theatre presents A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur.

Enjoy a rare Tennessee Williams tale from Sept. 9 to 24 as the Chemainus Theatre presents A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur.

A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur is a dramatic comedy, a story of bittersweet redemption, written with rich symbolism and witty, Chemainus Theatre says.

The one-act play with two scenes takes place in a cramped, mid-1930s St. Louis apartment.

Southern belle schoolteacher Dottie is awaiting a call from her Prince Charming (who also happens to be her boss, the high school principal). She is sure his imminent proposal of marriage, given their recent romantic tryst, will change her life — and boost her social class.

However, Dottie’s friends have evidence that her plan to escape single womanhood is a delusion.

Eager to help, her dishevelled but good-hearted roommate Bodey attempts to set a love match in motion with her portly, cigar-chomping twin brother.

That’s if Dottie’s snooty colleague Helena, always the “cheerful bearer of bad news”, doesn’t complicate matters with an uptown offer that may be too fashionable to refuse.

Dottie has some decisions to make about her future, and all before the upcoming Sunday picnic in Creve Coeur Park.

A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur is one of Williams’s final works. Written in 1978 it’s being rediscovered in recent years by theatre companies and directors.

Director Sarah Rodgers explains, “Williams’ explores the concept of ‘creve coeur’, a French term for broken heart, or even more accurately a burst heart as the word creve is often used to describe a puncture — like a tire being burst by a fierce puncture.”

The heroine in the show, like so many women in Williams’s plays, holds on to a hope for love and sweet romance against the obstacle of class and poverty.

There is an underlying sense of tragedy and desperation while Williams’s wit and humour bubbles out of these beautiful ever-hopeful women.

Four talented comedians steer through the slapstick with great sincerity.

Stacie Steadman plays Dottie, the high-strung dreamer who is making do while making plans, as she deals with such discomforts as overflowing toilets, tiny living space and the gloomy Miss Gluck, played by Randi Edmundson.

Erin Ormond plays Bodey, her sensitive and uplifting roommate.

Kaitlin Williams plays Helena, the uptight woman with an agenda, who it’s just fun to hate.

Women rule behind the scenes, too. The production team includes Amanda Larder (sets), Crystal Hanson (costumes), Marsha Sibthorpe (lighting), stage manager Lisa Russell, and apprentice stage manager Alana Freistadt.

Reserve evening or matinee tickets by calling the box office at 1-800-565-7738, or online at chemainustheatre.ca.