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Feast Dinner Theatre cast serves up a Christmas cocktail of humour, sadness, and love

Lt.-Col. Dennis Hopping, pictured front and centre with the Feast Dinner Theatre cast of the Summerside venue.
Lt.-Col. Dennis Hopping, pictured front and centre with the Feast Dinner Theatre cast of the Summerside venue. - Contributed

Maritime entertainers were ready to remind the soldiers why they were fighting – for safety, freedom, and where their heart lies

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Audience members were left wiping away tears of laughter and sadness as they were transported to a mess hall in Kandahar by the Feast Dinner Theatre cast at Brother’s Two Restaurant on Wednesday evening, through their storytelling, improvisation games, incredible music, and instrumental scores.

“The music was first-class and I can’t pick out one specific song because they all had lovely voices, and I’m amazed at how they played each and every instrument,” said retired Lt.-Col. Dennis Hopping after watching the musical comedy, ‘Twas the Night: Christmas in Kandahar.

“The character Sebastian (played by Chris Meaney) was a show-stopper, but I also thought Jessica (Lewis) carried herself just like any senior in the military would and I was impressed,” added Hopping, after reflecting on his own extensive 45-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces.

And although it may be a long, long way to go for the soldiers stationed in the blistering heat of Afghanistan before they can return home to their loved ones in Canada, they were reminded by the Maritime entertainers why they were fighting – for safety, freedom, and where their heart lies.

Musical scores for the special Brave and Broken fundraiser included ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War, as well as ‘We’ll Meet Again,’ which has a powerful and optimistic message of reuniting either at home or in Heaven.

But one particular song that brought tears to the eyes and captured a feeling that was difficult to articulate was ‘Highway of Heroes,’ originally written by Bob Reid.

“I’m trying to tread that line of being true to the emotional impact at that point. We don’t want people to leave depressed, but we want to try and convey what these soldiers are going through.”

- Adam MacGregor, music director

The sold-out event in Summerside presented a wonderful Christmas cocktail of humour, sadness, and love.

Woven in the heartwarming storyline were cracking jokes, hilarious improvisation games that brought everyone to attention, including musical numbers that ranged from a silky smooth a cappella to Christmas songs that had the audience, many of whom were veterans, clapping and singing along.

A traditional Christmas buffet, complete with oven-roasted turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, salad, followed by a delicious cheesecake, was served as the entertainment continued to flow.

“My son talked to the Feast cast for one hour during rehearsal because he has been to Kandahar three times, and his recollection and experience overseas really put them in a frame-of-mind that lead to this great production we saw tonight,” said Hopping.

The show concluded with everyone casting aside their differences and singing in beautiful harmony, before a standing ovation.

Shows are on select dates. Visit Feastdinnertheatres.com for more details, including booking information.

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