Hang on to your knickers



I see London, I see France, Kanata Theatre is showing their underpants.

Steve Martin's adaption of The UnderĀ­pants by Carl Sternheim and directed by Jim Homes is going up or falling down at Kanata Theatre in May.

The setting is Dusseldorf Germany, 1910. Louise, a young married lady played by Sarah Argue, becomes the centre of attention after her underpants fall down while waiting to see the King, played by Tim Mabey, during a very public parade.

Her straight-laced and very narrow-minded husband Theo, played by Bernie Horton, worries only about how this will affect his image.

Shortly afterwards, male suitors appear at their apartment door to rent a room.

However, unbeknownst to Louise's husband, they are actually there to win her affection due to her very public wardrobe malfunction.

Louise instantly becomes famous because of her underpants.

Their upstairs neighbor Gertrude, played by Melissa McCallum, who has a keen ear for overhearing everything, becomes instantly involved in the scandal.

A romantic poet Versati, also played by Tim Mabey, Cohen, a needy barber played by Dwayne Aylward, and Klinglehoff, played by Brooke Keneford, all get mixed up in the mayhem of Louise's wardrobe malfunction. Hilarity ensues when the private meetings concerning private unmentionables take place.

Jim Holme's direction brings out the best attributes of what can be considered a very private matter.

This hundred-year-old farce opens on May 11 and runs until May 22 with no performances on the Sunday and Monday.

All tickets are $15 and .the curtain goes up at 8 p.m.

Student Rush Seats at $5 go on sale at 5 p.m. on the day of each performance, subject to availability of seats. A valid student pass must be presented at the box office to purchase tickets.

Please call the box office at 613-831-4435 for information on booking your tickets or visit the web site at www.kanatatheatre.com for all inquiries.  Feel free to visit the box office at 1 Ron Maslin Way, just off Terry Fox Drive in Kanata.

Hold onto your knickers and be sure not to miss this hilarious show.

This article is reproduced by kind permission of the author, Robyn Pekarchuk. It appeared in the Kanata Kourier-Standard.

Kanata Theatre director
wins award for The Underpants


EMC Staff Writer

EMC Lifestyle - It's time for Jim Holmes from Kanata Theatre to take a bow after being named the best community theatre director in Ottawa.

The Capital Critics Circle awards were handed out on Nov. 15 and Holmes was recognized for his work in Kanata Theatre's production of The Underpants earlier this spring.

Holmes was overwhelmed after winning the award and thought it was a great honour to have been recognized for his work. However, he notes that the credit really belongs to his cast.

"We had a terrific cast! This was the first time to my knowledge (The Underpants) had ever been done in Ottawa," said Holmes. "It's quite a brilliant little play and I was very pleased to have won it with this play." This is not the first time that Holmes' work has been recognized.

Two years ago he directed the play The Seagull and it was chosen as the best community theatre production by the Capital Critics Circle.

Holmes has been involved in Kanata Theatre since 1972.

Sitting in his basement it's like taking a step back in time with a wide array of memorabilia from his past productions.

Hanging on the walls is a pair of the underpants that were made for Louise in the play, fashioned in the colours of the German flag. The play was written in 1910 by Carl Sternheim and was adapted into a 90-minute version by Steve Martin, someone for whom Holmes says he has great respect.

He describes winning the award like a scene one would see at the Academy Awards.

"The ceremony was held in the lobby of Ottawa Little Theatre," he said.

"I was happy because quite a large group of Kanata Theatre members came down and they all gave a little cheer when the award was announced."

Holmes says it was thrilling and encouraging to be nominated with Joan Sullivan Eady for Present Laughter by Noel Coward, Ottawa Little Theatre and Sarah Hearn for Enchanted April, Ottawa Little Theatre.

Seasoned critics

The Capital Critics Circle is a group of seasoned critics who review local plays on their website to help promote local theatre.

Iris Winston is one of the critics on the site and has been a theatre reviewer for more than 30 years, she was quite impressed with Holmes' work on The Underpants.

"The Underpants was one of the best directed community productions I had seen, not just in this last year, but several years," said Winston.

"It was a well-deserved award for Jim Holmes." Also nominated from the Kanata Theatre was Beverley Brooks for best actor (community) as Lily in Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks by Richard Alfieri, directed by Susan Monaghan, Kanata Theatre.

This article and the photo below are reproduced by kind permission of the author, Tiffany Williams-Lepack. These appeared in the EMC issue of 25 November, 2010

EMC photo by Tiffany Williams-Lepack, Kanata EMC

Jim Holmes recently took home the Capital Critics Circle award for best comnity theatre director for The Underpants. Here he poses with his award with one of the garments from the play.