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The Niagara Blog:     Port Colborne's Showboat Festival Theatre is alive and well & kicking!

Showboat 2013 season

Derek Ritschel, Artistic Director of Port Colborne's Showboat Festival Theatre takes the stage to address the audience prior to the play. Young and enthusiastic, he is pleased with the good-sized crowd. Derek points out the importance of theatre throughout Canada and laments that when one company fails, it affects us all with its ripple effect. Showboat is one of only twenty-five professional summer theatres in the province, and is an integral part of the artistic fabric of Ontario. To save Showboat is to preserve our artistic culture here in our province.

Derek receives a warm round of applause. Showboat recently entered into a formal partnership with Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Port Dover and they are offering a summer of first class theatre - Norm Foster live on stage in On A First Name Basis; Henry & Alice: Into the Wild, (the sequel to the national hit Sexy Laundry); the comedy of The 39 Steps and four resourceful ladies in Knickers! A Brief Comedy.

Henry & Alice: Into the Wild Tonight's feature, Henry & Alice: Into the Wild, was written by Michele Riml from Vancouver. It brings back memories of countless camping trips in our much younger marriage, but the stage couple here are not quite so young. Henry and Alice Lane are in mid-life and they embark on a wayward camping trip with noisy neighbours, malfunctioning equipment, Camping For Dummies and other difficult conditions including the unexpected arrival of Alice's free-spirited sister Diana, who dramatically intrudes astride a motorcycle to match her red hair and "Carpe Diem" tattoo. It's a follow-up production to the hit romantic comedy Sexy Laundry by Riml.

The acting is first rate. Melodee Finlay plays a frustrated, unhappy Alice. Susan Greenfield is Diana, her high-octane sister, and Jamie Williams is Henry, an engineer recently forced to retire and wondering what to do with the rest of his life. This marks Showboat's 27th season and the audience at Roselawn thoroughly enjoys the play.

The Roselawn Centre, a tourism entity in itself, was originally built in 1860 as a stately three story home of Upper Canada Victorian architecture, which eventually became the Port Colborne Club in 1957. After 10 years of operating as an arts and cultural centre, Roselawn continues to become a focal point of recognition for tourism, arts and culture and is in its seventh year of Food and Wine Series, the popular Author Series and the 21st season of Showboat Festival Theatre.

Showboat is a great example of why we should support local theatre, and we wish Derek Ritschel a successful season!

Contact Information: Showboat Festival Theatre, 296 Fielden Avenue, Port Colborne, L3K 4T6 ON, Telephone 905-834-0833, Email: boxoffice@portcolborne.ca

Interview with Michele Riml, playwright of Henry and Alice: Into the Wild


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