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Father Knows Best at Carney
Drama students at Port Coquitlam’s Archbishop Carney regional secondary are sticking with the same era. But their new production will be a 180 turn from last spring’s show also set in the 1950s.
Then, 45 young actors at the Catholic school were part of the musical West Side Story, a gritty New York-based love story between two teens from rival gangs.
For this season, theatre teacher Charles Harris is taking his cast of 17 out to the Midwest to portray a middle-class family.
Harris said he wanted to put on Father Knows Best “because it’s a little more family friendly.... I heard the title and read the script last summer and thought it would be perfect.”
The play is based on the American radio and T.V. comedy series that was created by writer Ed James in the 1940s. It ran on television from 1954 and 1960, starring Robert Young and Jane Wyatt as the parents.
For the school show, the father fears his eldest daughter will run off with her boyfriend so he decides to spend some “quality time” with his family and to get to know the young man. Problem is the family has already made plans to go out and, as a result, tensions rise in the Anderson household.
Taking the lead roles in the Archbishop Carney Theatre production are Jason Navarra as the father (James “Jim” Anderson Sr.); Jenna Testani as the mother (Margaret Anderson); sisters Clare-Anne and Catherine Queenan as the daughters (Betty “Princess” Anderson and Kathy “Kitten” Anderson); and Luke Trainor as the son (James “Bud” Anderson).
None is new to the stage. Last year, the five thespians also appeared in West Side Story with Testani in the top role of Maria, Natalie Wood’s character in the Oscar-winning 1961 movie. And, in 2011, Testani, Navarra and Clare-Anne Queenan were cast in Carney’s Rumours.
• Tickets at $14 for Archbishop Carney Theatre’s Father Knows Best, which runs March 7 to 9, are available by calling 604-942-7465 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The show starts at 7 p.m. at Terry Fox secondary (1260 Riverwood Gate, Port Coquitlam).