Creston’s Footlighters dance back to the 70s with ‘Million Dollar Meatballs’

Actors Zoe Marini, as jewel thief Frankie, and Suzanne Chubb, as food critic Damanda Dumper, rehearse for Million Dollar Meatballs, which promises lots of laughs in the disco-themed 70s. (Photo by Brian Lawrence)Actors Zoe Marini, as jewel thief Frankie, and Suzanne Chubb, as food critic Damanda Dumper, rehearse for Million Dollar Meatballs, which promises lots of laughs in the disco-themed 70s. (Photo by Brian Lawrence)
Actors Logan Thompson, Paton Beebe, Jennifer Adams, and Cali Blackmore rehearse for the Million Dollar Meatballs production. (Photo by Brian Lawrence)Actors Logan Thompson, Paton Beebe, Jennifer Adams, and Cali Blackmore rehearse for the Million Dollar Meatballs production. (Photo by Brian Lawrence)
Actors Zoe Marini, Cali Blackmore, Simone Wiebe, and Jennifer Adams. (Photo by Brian Lawrence)Actors Zoe Marini, Cali Blackmore, Simone Wiebe, and Jennifer Adams. (Photo by Brian Lawrence)

If you love disco music and are feeling nostalgic for the 70s, this next Footlighters production is for you.

“Million Dollar Meatballs”, originally written by Todd Wallinger, is a pun-filled comedy featuring two bumbling jewel thieves. While on the run from the cops, the duo sneak into a discotheque at just the wrong time as the failing establishment is about to undergo review from a star critic.

In a classic twist of mistaken identity, the restaurant’s owner mistakes the thieves for renowned chefs and insists that they make their specialty meatballs.

Laughter ensues as the pair try to keep up the ruse while looking for the priceless diamonds they lost.

“It’s fun. It’s ridiculous. And the disco theme will take you back to the 70s,” said Jason Smith, director of the production. He has been involved with Footlighters Theatre Society for the last 10 years.

“We’ve been laughing so hard together at rehearsals.”

Along with assistant director Gillian Wells, this production has allowed Smith to get creative with rewriting the script.

“We took the existing script and embellished it and put out more stuff on top of it,” said Smith.

The setting was changed to a disco in Creston to allow for fun 70s costumes and dance numbers, featuring the Solid Gold Dancers – an ensemble of students from Kootenay River Secondary School.

The cast of the play has also been encouraged to have fun and improvise during rehearsals to add to the script.

“As the actors are rehearsing and developing their character, they’ll say something that just comes naturally as their character and we’ve found that hilarious,” said Wells.

The cast includes Simone Wiebe and Zoe Marini as jewel thieves Beans and Frankie, Suzanne Chubb as Damanda Dumper the food critic, Tiana Blackmore as Olive Pitt the dishwasher, Kelly Meyer as Boris Stroganoff the server, Cali Blackmore as Ginger Snap the busier, Anna Medicine Crane as Martha Stewpot, Jennifer Adams as Sue Dujour the restaurant owner, Logan Thompson as Officer Smith, Paton Beebe as Officer Wesson, Ryan Taylor as Humphrey the maitre d, and Michelle Karey-McKenna as Tammy Tonedeaf the singing telegram girl.

The cast started rehearsing in March, the day after “Bloody Murder” wrapped.

READ MORE: Creston’s Footlighters promise laughs aplenty at ‘Bloody Murder’ show

“There’s so many really talented people that really got into their characters,” said Wells.

“I love doing a script that we can tweak. I really liked that creative freedom to just use an idea that pops into your head.”

It has helped the actors to further embody their characters too.

“We build on our backstories by thinking about what we might have been doing right before stepping out on stage,” said Chubb, who plays the food critic.

“My character is snooty and pretentious, sort of like a female Gordon Ramsay. It’s fun to just pretend to not be you. I get to leave Suzanne at home and be wide open to all other possibilities as my character.”

Other than the incredible talents that grace the stage, anyone who has never been to the Kootenay River Secondary School will be impressed by the production value.

The lights and sound system allow for a spectacular show.

The disco music will be recognizable to the audience with great dance numbers in-between comedic bits.

On June 16, 17, and 18, “Million Dollar Meatballs” will start at 7:30 p.m. in the school theatre.

The show is suitable for all ages, with similar vibes as the “Carol Burnett Show” and “Three’s Company”.

Tickets can be purchased at Fly in the Fibre for $15 each for adults or $12 for seniors/students.

Show your ticket at Real Food Cafe for a free dessert (with meal purchase) on show nights.

To learn more about Footlighters Theatre Society, visit www.facebook.com/CrestonFootlighters.

Creston ValleyEntertainmentTheatre