Chase away those winter blues with warm witty fun at Theatre North West Feb. 7 to 27 with Paul Weitz's dramedy Privilege.
Porter and Charlie are two brothers who have always lived the high life. When their wealthy stockbroker father gets arrested for insider trading, the boys find out that the love they have for each other is worth more than any luxury - even as they're missing the maid tidying up.
Danielle St. Pierre is Anna, the brothers' mother in the Theatre North West production.
Audiences will remember her from All Shook Up and A Nice Family Gathering in Theatre North West's 2009/10 season. Other stage credits for St. Pierre include A Cottage Community Christmas, Elton John's Aida (Broadway Live), Miss Saigon, A Chorus Line, The Last Five Years (viva Musica), Seussical the Musical (Sunshine Theatre).
"The play has so many levels and such depth to it, playwright Paul Weitz writes a lot in -- it's not just fluff," said St. Pierre, who said even though she has no children of her own, her motherly instincts took over as she got to know the children who play her sons.
"Anna is a really warm person, who really loves her kids and who is relaxed with them," St. Pierre said. "She is a really good, functional mom for being rich. The family has a nanny slash maid who does a lot of the grunt work for her but I think she's a really held-together person and still loves her kids tons. Anna really enjoys just being around them. I think with her she offers her kids emotional support and really relies on them as her heart."
St. Pierre said Privilege reads differently than it plays.
"The depth has come out, the emotion and the level of emotion because director, Ted Price, is adding so much to it -- as he always does -- he's fantastic," she added. "So he's brought out a lot of different aspects rather than it just being flat on a page. When I first read it I thought it was great
and completely enjoyable to read but as we started playing it I really appreciated the depth of it and how the characters are written."
The role of Charlie, the younger of the two brothers, will be shared by two local boys, Benjamin Hirtz and Jackson Williams, who is new to the TNW stage, but patrons will remember Hirtz from his role as Tiny Tim in 2008s A Christmas Carol.
The work of playwright Paul Weitz may also be familiar, since Weitz is a Hollywood veteran, as the writer of such screenplays as Antz and Being Flynn, and director of such films as American Pie and About a Boy.
"Privilege is a heartfelt emotional ride," said St. Pierre. "I would hope everyone would come away from the theatre with something and I think that the message is you should hold together as a family no matter what and be there for each other in any capacity you can be. Even though each person goes through their own journey in the play they are thinking of each other in the end, which is why it's so lovely."
Privilege will be presented by Theatre North West at Parkhill Centre.
Tickets are available at Books & Company or by phone at 250-614-0039.