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'Happy Jack's Motel' marks return of Proscenium Club

The play examines the fragmentation of the toxic male influence against the backdrop of the deliciously excessive and unrestrained 1980s
20220505 happy jack's motel
Happy Jack's Motel examines the fragmentation of the toxic male influence against the backdrop of the deliciously excessive and unrestrained 1980s.

Proscenium Club will return to its home stage in North Bay after three years away, with its newest production Happy Jack's Motel.

The northern theatre company was last on stage in its hometown 2019 with Sit, James during its third touring season, but had to shut down due to COVID midway through its next production.

Happy Jack's Motel is Artistic Director Josh Bainbridge's newest play, centred on a struggling roadside motel in the 1980s, according to a news release.

"Managed by jaded failed screenwriter Jack and his good-for-nothing nephew Billy, the motel is frequented by guests who rather not be asked any questions," explains Bainbridge. "Jack's only friends are two women who live and work at the motel, who cannot wait to put Happy Jack's in their rear-view mirror. Under the threat of a looming thunderstorm, the motel finds itself unusually full for the night with each new guest having their own guarded reason for their stay. Against a backdrop of robbery, secrets, sex and jazzercise, Happy Jack’s Motel becomes a dingy battleground offering eight people one last shot at escaping their dark fates."

Bainbridge says.he loves northern audiences.

"I can’t wait to share this show with them. This is the audience who has watched me find my voice and supported me as I learned to walk, this is the audience whose tears and laughter mean the most to me. I can’t wait for them to see what we have done here."

"Bainbridge's newest play examines the fragmentation of the toxic male influence against the backdrop of the deliciously excessive and unrestrained 1980s," says the release.

"It examines the disappointment and disillusionment with the North American 'ideal man' and all that he encapsulates. With his signature approach to theatre laced with dark, sardonic comedy, a healthy dose of hijinks, and just a touch of gore, Bainbridge handles the extravagance of the era with wit and dexterity, taking a scalpel to the decade of greed."

The Proscenium Club began touring the production in Fall 2021 in southern Ontario.

"It’s been a weird few years for everyone, not just those in the arts. And where do you typically want to be when things get weird? You want to be at home. This is why it’s wonderfully cathartic to be getting back on the stage in North Bay. It feels like after almost three years of weirdness- I get to go home."

Happy Jack's Motel will play for a limited run at École Secondaire Publique Odyssée May 19, 20, 21 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at Dark Horse Comics or by emailing info@prosceniumclub.com