A relative newbie to Langley, Danny Steele said jumping feet first into the production of a comedy seemed like an ideal way to re-immerse himself in community theatre and to get to know the Langley Players drama team.
Fellow cast members in the upcoming production of Self-Help have made the 63-year-old funeral home director and embalmer feel very welcome since he showed up for audition back in early September.
Steele, who moved from New Westminster to Walnut Grove last March, is playing the role of Detective Snow in the Playersâ€™ winter show that opens next week at the Brookswood playhouse.
He and his husband Don saw the Langley Playersâ€™ spring production of Light Sensitive, another comedy, and were â€œvery impressedâ€ with the quality of the production and the acting, Steele said.
While he has been engrossed in acting since age 12, he hadnâ€™t actually been on stage for more than five years, and said he was anxious to reconnect with the thespian community.
He wouldnâ€™t hesitate, having worked with the cast and crew three days a week for the past few months, to consider this his new â€œhome theatre.â€
This isnâ€™t a lead role for Steele, but thatâ€™s okay. Itâ€™s been fun and challenging, he said, explaining that he has no similarities with the character, and therefore, he has had to really work to understand him before bringing him to life on stage.
But, heâ€™s confident heâ€™s managed to do that, and has invited a number of his friends to see him in the upcoming show.
â€œIâ€™m not on until the second act, but I telling them itâ€™s well worth the wait.â€
Langley Players has selected another comedy by Canadian playwright Norm Foster.
Self-Help tells the story of a married couple, both second-rate theatre actors, re-invent themselves as nationally renowned self-help gurus.
Their lives unravel in a farce as they try to conceal a body and hold on to their falsely won fame.
Itâ€™s dubbed a clever and fun look at love and the self-help industry and what this couple will do to stay on top.
â€œItâ€™s very funny,â€ Steele said. While he described it as an adult-oriented play, he said â€œeven a non-theatre person would get a good giggle out of it.â€
Steele is not the only Langley actor in this production.
Heâ€™s joined on stage by a few familiar local faces, including Langleyâ€™s Ken Boyd as the lead character of Hal Savage, as well as Langleyâ€™s Barb Coulter playing Ruby Delvecchio.
Self-Helpâ€™s playwright, Foster, is a Torontonian who worked in radio for a quarter century before discovering his passion for theatre. Heâ€™s been writing plays now for 30 years, and isnâ€™t showing any signs of slowing down, said producer Dave Williams.
Director Mary Renvall added: â€œIt has been a real treat to direct a group of actors who have such a strong commitment to their craft and enormous comedic talent.â€
Self-Help runs Thursdays to Sundays, from Jan. 15 through Feb. 14 at the Langley Playhouse, 4307 200th Street in Brookswood.
Show times are 8 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Tickets are $15 each and available by calling 604-534-7469, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or going online to www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/133005.
How to win a pair of tickets to Self-Help
A pair of lucky readers will each win two tickets to the Langley Players production.
How do you win?
â€¢ Click on the live link in the story about Self-Help at www.langleyadvance.com,
and tell us why you want to attend this show. You will be entered into the draw. Preference will be given to Langley residents.
Postings must be received prior to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13, and the winner will be notified by email and/or phone. No staff or family of the Langley Advance or Glacier Media are eligible. This giveaway is restricted to online participants, 19 years or older only. Entries must include name and telephone number.