The live-theatre soap opera that parodies Prince Rupert had its first episode on Saturday night and for those who missed it, here’s a recap.
The doors at the Tom Rooney Playhouse opened at 8 p.m. and seats were filled minutes later. More chairs needed to be brought in to accommodate the large audience.
“As the Port Churns,” written and directed by David Smook, began with an introduction of the eight characters: there’s a questionable doctor, Dr. Obi Gin, a sleazy beer businessman, James ‘Pipes’ McGurn, and his insecure associate who is a bellhop at the Neptune Inn, Lew Eegie, a sultry journalist from Toronto, Tracy ‘Ace’ Newton, an awkward martial-artist studying to be a Harbour Master, Stanley Dohlwigger, a heartbroken lounge singer, Pam Again, a regular bar patron who is secretly a mermaid, Marina Del Spray and a perky waitress who dreams of leaving the city, Dana Dohlwigger.
As the scenes progressed, the audience learned that ‘Pipe’ McGurn is from out of town and has plans to spy and do covert dealings for his beer business. He convinces a hotel worker, dressed as the sea god Neptune, to be his associate.
In the next scene at the Yacht Club Bar and Grill, we learn that Pam Again used to open for Triple Bypass but now sings to her only fan, Del Spray who later reveals her mermaid tail.
‘Ace’, the new journalist in town goes to the bar and discovers the woman is a mermaid and says she’ll keep her secret if she tells her all the stories she knows about people in the city.
When Stanley walks into the bar in his martial arts uniform, a gi, the journalist immediately falls for him and they agree to meet later at his dojo.
However, before they meet, he consults with his master, Dr. Obi Gin, through the Internet to get tips on how to woo women.
Back at the bar, Lew Eegie enters the scene with new confidence, and the lounge singer and waitress compete for his attention. Dana wins but after the two agree to meet up after she finishes work he stands her up.
‘Pipes’ has his clutches on young and impressionable Lew Eegie and asks him to do questionable investigative work, starting at the dojo. Meanwhile, ‘Ace’ has met up with Stanley and her flirtation visibly uneases him. When Lew Eegie tries to break in, the martial artist attacks the intruder.
The show ends when ‘Pipes’ walks into the bar, and after witnessing the waitress break out into a tap dance, he says he’s going to make her a star at which point the mermaid looks at him and the two point fingers at each other and yell — “You!”
Fade to black. The show came to a sudden end after less than an hour. The cast came out for a preview of weeks to come and the drama ended for the evening.
Much like most soap operas the plot wasn’t as present as the overly-theatrical characters who carried the show.
The next show is Saturday, Nov. 26. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Homework or at the door for $12.