Too Many Cooks opens Friday at Century Church Theatre

May 25, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

“The reading committee told us they laughed out loud when they read this play,” said Jo Phenix, publicist for Century Church Theatre in Hillsburgh and Director for this play, opening tomorrow (Friday)  and running through to June 3. “So, we thought it would be perfect as a final play to our season.”

Written by Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes, Too Many Cooks is an old-time farce with all the delights of lies, mistaken characters, outrageous characters and romance.

“When I read this play, I had visions of how I wanted to approach it; I knew how the characters should be played,” Ms. Phenix said. “This is a very funny play, a wonderful play to exaggerate the personalities of the characters – they should be larger than life.”

You can just imagine: Niagara Falls, Ontario, 1932: the opening night of a gourmet and expensive restaurant – all the investor’s money is spent in preparation and everything is ready. It only remains for the star, the singing French chef, to show up and strut his … but wait, he hasn’t shown up!

Owner Irving Bubbalowe and his daughter, Honey, are in big need of a solution and who wanders in but chef Frank Plunkett, looking for a job, and he can have it, if only he’ll pretend to be someone else: singing French chef Francois LaPlouffe.

Add to this, gangsters looking for their booty of bootlegged booze stored unbeknownst in the basement of the restaurant; an aggressive lady immigration officer looking for LaPlouffe, plus a sober Mountie, determined to get his man – and Bubbalowe looks suspicious enough.

Century Church Theatre is a member of the Association of  Community Theatres Central Ontario (ACT-CO). Century Church Theatre has done well with the production of Fatal Attraction, winning Best Supporting Actress and received “lots of nominations”.

ACT-CO membership is useful in many ways: “We post our notices for auditions for our plays,” Ms. Phenix explained. “People in community theatre like to move around to different theatres, to meet other people and, in particular, when they see a role they think they might suit.”

Of all the hats within the myriad jobs there are to do in the theatre, Ms. Phenix admits she likes directing best. “I make a point of directing one play a year. I enjoy it the most, especially if I can get a cast that can see my vision. They [the notices] can bring actors that can bring this to life – this is a really wonderful cast.”

We spoke about the ages of people coming into community theatre and it seemed that young people were showing an interest.

“We have a new young man who has joined us,” Ms. Phenix remarked. “George Poalucci came to our Christmas Pantomime because his mother was performing. He just seemed fascinated with everything about the theatre and he came to all the performances. Now, he’s back with us working backstage. The back is very busy with a lot of activity and special effects. So, we’re happy to have George on board.”

Another enticement to make the trip to Hillsburgh is the restaurant, FAN/JOY, nestled not that long ago in town, Chef (who may or may not sing – there was no mention of this going to press) Pam Fanjoy, an award-winning chef is lauded for her fresh and delicious meals by Trip Advisor and others. While Century Church Theatre does not have a deal with the restaurant, we are assured that dinner or lunch and  Too Many Cooks will make a perfectly wonderful few hours in your day or evening.

For hours and reservation for FAN/JOY, their number is 519-308-0900

Century Church Theatre’s presentation of the “very funny” Too Many Cooks is running May 25 to June 3. For time and tickets, call the Box Office: 519-855-4586 or go online at

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.