Entertainment

LFT cooks up spicy season finale

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

Liz Gilroy, Shruti Kothari and Beryl Bain perform a scene from the Lighthouse Festival Theatre production of Five Alarm, which runs at the Port Dover theatre until September 9. Contributed photo

Liz Gilroy, Shruti Kothari and Beryl Bain perform a scene from the Lighthouse Festival Theatre production of Five Alarm, which runs at the Port Dover theatre until September 9. Contributed photo

PORT DOVER - 

Actor Andy Pogson has a simple yet effective method when it comes to choosing scripts to pursue.

“A first test for me is when you read it and laugh,” he explained. “If I'm sitting in my living room laughing at it, I have a pretty good sense that it's going to work on stage.”

Pogson is one of five cast members starring in the final Lighthouse Festival Theatre production of the summer. Five Alarm is set at a small town chili cook-off where Ava Rose (played by Beryl Bain) has tried unsuccessfully for 16 years to win the crown in memory of her late father. Standing in her way is Connie (Liz Gilroy), the champion five years running. If Ava Rose is finally going to be victorious she'll need to piece together her father's missing recipe and keep her assistant Ellen (Shruti Kothari) from maiming herself.

“There's times that you're laughing out loud and there's a lot of heart to it as well, which is sort of perfect for Dover and for summer theatre,” said Pogson, who plays Caleb, the local reporter. “You can have a good time for a couple hours and come away with a little sweetness in your heart.”

“It's reminding you of the value of memory and family and friends.”

For both Pogson and Kothari, Five Alarm will serve as their LFT debut.

Kothari said there really isn't a better show for the group to work together given their common interests.

“I think it's kind of cool that a lot of us in this process are foodies and food is one of those things that brings people together,” Kothari offered. “Without sounding too corny, I think that really is the heart of the show.”

While just about everyone can identify with Ava Rose's efforts to try and pay homage to her father, Gilroy praised playwright Kristen Da Silva for making each of the characters relatable.

“You get to really know these people - you actually get to develop relationships with them because she's written them as honest human beings,” Gilroy said.

“Kristen has done a good job of balancing the sweet and the heartfelt and the honest, true emotions with some really, really good laughs.”

Not long after arriving in Port Dover for the first time Kothari was overwhelmed with the area's thriving arts scene, which sets a positive tone for a show.

“It is really nice to be working in a place where there is very clearly a very supportive community of the theatre because it doesn't always happen,” she explained. “It's very evident that there is a following and there is a support system of the art which is fantastic.”

The show debuts Aug. 23 and runs through Sept. 9. Ticket information and showtimes are available online at lighthousetheatre.com/.

jrobinson@postmedia.com