The Rossland Light Opera Players’ fall performance features a script written by a local actor, writer and director.
Jamie Santano wrote an original script called Finding a Wife for Gino and is directing the show, which will take place Nov. 3 and 4 at the Rossland Miners’ Hall.
“Gino is a 40-year-old man — a 40-year-old single man — whose mother is tired of him and his single status, so she hires a matchmaker to find him a wife,” says Santano. “So from there, comedy ensues. We do see just why Gino can’t get past the first date. … We get to meet his family. We get to meet the matchmaker and other people in this life through a musical interlude until we find a match for Gino.”
She says that Gino has been in her head for about 20 years now.
“The title came from a friend of mine. We were talking about somebody else we knew and she said, ‘Oh, we should write him a self-help book on how to find a wife,'” explains Santano.
She originally planned to write a novel about Gino but wound up putting him on stage instead.
And Gino is not the only character in the play who draws on real-life inspiration.
“The father, Guido, is based on that friend’s dad, there’s a lot of him in there, my father-in-law is in there … and my own grandfather is in that character,” says Santano. “So I give the cast a lot of leeway, but once in a while I turn to Denis [Senecal], who is playing Guido and say ‘No, you have to say it like this, because that’s how my father-in-law said it, or that’s how my grandpa said it or that’s how Tony said it.'”
In addition to writing and directing the play, Santano also has a brief cameo as one of Gino’s dates.
Like all RLOP productions, Finding a Wife for Gino is a musical. For Gino‘s musical numbers, Santano decided to use classic rock songs.
“This is my third show actually. So the very first show I did we used original music that my grandfather wrote and then the second show that we did it was all ’80s, so we just pay rights to SOCAN and use the songs, and that’s what we’re doing for this one,” Santano says.
She also hints that the Rossland Glee Club is helping out with a number, but won’t say more.
“I want it to be a surprise,” she says.
Tickets are $35 and available from Tail’s Pet Supplies in Rossland, Bay Avenue Music in Trail and online at rlop.ca/tickets. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Antipasti and Italian desserts will be served and drinks will be available for purchase.