Kanata Kourier-Standard,  January 28, 2011

Norm Foster returns to Kanata


When Jenny's Hous of  Joy begins its two-week run on Feb. 1,  it will mark the fifth time a Norm Foster-penned play has been per­formed by Kanata Theatre in the past six seasons.

And there's a pretty simple reason why they keep bringing Canada's most prolific playwright back:: audiences just adore him.

Previous KT productions such as The Long Weekend, Here on the Flight Path and Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun performed to sell­out crowds who were in need of a good laugh and, on occasion, a good cry. And with Jenny's House of Joy, Foster fans shouldn't ex­pect anything less.

Set in the old "Wild West," the story takes place in a "house of ill repute" where the establishment's owner, Jenny (played by Andrea Fajrajsl), runs a tight ship - keeping a close eye on the three ladies who work for her. Things get shaken up, however, when a young runaway (Katie Buller) shows up at her door, looking for a job even though she seems far too innocent to take on one of the world's oldest professions.

"Being inside a brothel, it's all about the interpersonal relations among the whores. It is funny, serious, poignant, and tender all at once, and will also keep the audience on the edge of their seats with its tension," said director Jon Alkan.

Alkan first enjoyed the play when he and his wife happened upon a performance while on a trip in Southern Ontario. They liked it so much they had a summer reading of it at their home the following summer. Now he gets the pleasure of putting on his own version, casting five very talented ladies to complete the play's all-female ensemble.

One of those ladies, KT newcomer Jenny Brooks, plays Anita, a character whose positivity appealed to the aspiring actress.

"She's a loyal person, she's ambitious, and she aspires for more out of her Me. I love these kinds of qualities in a per­son," said Brooks.

If you love strong qualities in writing, you should plan to go see Jenny's House of Joy at the Ron Maslin Playhouse.

Alkan sums it up quite nicely when he says, "As always, Norm Foster comes up with the goods."

The play runs from Feb. 1 to 5 and from Feb. 8  to 12. All shows start at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15 each. Student Rush Seats are available for $5 after 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.

For information on booking your tickets, please call the box-office at
613-831-4435, visit the website at
www.kanatatheatre.com, or drop by the theatre at 1 Ron Maslin Way, just off Terry Fox Drive in Kanata.

Jenny Brooks, Andrea Fajrajsl and Katie Buller rehearse for the upcoming Kanata Theatre production of Jenny's House of Joy.

Submitted photo

This article, which appeared in the 28 January 2011 issue of the Kanata Kourier-Standard, is reproduced by the kind permission of the author.