Red Hot Mamas bring Bitsy to town


(L to r) Louise (Denise Hunt)

(L to r) Louise (Denise Hunt)

By Barry McLean

The performance was well received on Friday evening with about 170 people gathering at the Barriere Bandshell to watch the Red Hot Mamas perform.

The play itself, “Bitsy and Her Friends”, by Ludmilla Bollow, and sponsored by the Thompson Valley Players is a comedy/drama. It is about a woman who has been willed a country mansion, Wyndham Gardens, and who has collected around her an assortment of offbeat characters who recycle trash for their “Art Faire” which is to be held on the garden grounds.  The local community has a quite different take on the “Faire” and are threatening to invoke an injunction to prevent the “artistes” from proceeding with their plans.  “Bitsy” comes up with a plan to thwart their detractors with a surprise ending which provided a fitting end to the performance.

This is the Red Hot Mamas third year of performing one act plays in Barriere and the TNRD.

“The Revenge of the Red Hat Ladies” was performed for the pre-Olympic event at the Fall Fair Hall, and also in Kamloops for a regional gathering of the Red Feather Association clubs.  Later that year they played in Little Fort at the Regional Carpet Bowling competition held at the Little Fort Community Hall.

“At Half Time”, a woman’s basketball team play was produced in conjunction with the Thompson Valley Players last year, as a double bill with the Players production of “The Death of Me”.

The Red Hot Mamas are the local society of the Red Feather organization which is an established group throughout North America.  Through the Thompson Valley Players, they have established a co-production arrangement that works to everyone’s advantage, as it becomes part of the diversity and age range for the Players from youth to seniors.

Theatre is fast becoming a way for seniors to stay active in their community and is recognized as a major factor in fighting the onset of dementia and Alzheimers, due to the fact that participation in a four to five month production sharpens the mind.  Laughter is, in fact, the best medicine.

We would like to thank all those who attended at our performance on Friday, and we are deeply grateful for the donations you provided to cover production costs.  Thanks also to Paul Faessler and Mickey Kinloch for providing musical entertainment prior to the performance, and to all those who contributed to the backstage operation.

The cast:

Bitsy – Irene Wassing  Esmeralda – Randy Allen

Louise – Denise Hunt

Melody – Monica Ireland

Rebecca – Donna Smith

Wanda – Lil Klassen

Director/Producer Barrie McLean