By Scott Rasmussen, Journal Editor
So, you thought the days of Bob and Doug McKenzie and the Great White North were long gone by. Well, think again.
The McKenzie brothers, who spawned a pop culture phenomenon in the early ‘80s, first as a sketch comedy on Second City TV and later as featured performers on several musical recordings, and as co-stars of a full-length feature film, “Strange Brew”, will be back in spirit, if not in person, when “Guys on Ice” opens March 8 in the Gubleman Theatre of San Juan Community Theatre.
Written by Fred Alley and directed by Laura Concord, with music by James Kaplan, Guys on Ice chronicles the amusing antics of three Wisconsin fishing buddies and home-grown philosophers in song and dance — that’s right, dance — as they spend a day inside an ice shanty, presumably trying to hook a fish and popping the top off of plenty of Leinenkugels brand beer as they wait.
Speaking of waiting, the plot revolves around Marvin, played by Miguel Andreas Herbert, who is waiting to hear if he has landed a spot on a cable television fishing show, and musing over Bonnie, a clerk at the nearby Pick n’ Save, on whom the upper-aged, lifelong bachelor has developed a crush.
One could almost hear a voice with a classic Canadian accent chime in with, “What a hoser, eh?”, if the McKenzie brothers were part of the cast. But Marvin’s best buds, Lloyd, the only married one of the three, played by Eric Concord, and Marvin, named Marvin the Moocher by his pals (and for good reason, which you’ll see), played by Dorian Oliver, rally around Marvin and help to bolster his new-found affection for the belle of the Pick n’ Save.
“While there is a lot of silliness going on,” director Laura Concord says, “Guys on Ice is a story of true friendship and a show that will appeal to the blue collar ‘Guys’ and white collar ‘Guys’ and all the ‘Gals’ that love them.”
To set the mood, the Gubelman Theatre stage has been transformed into a cozy setting where the three fishing buddies swap corny jokes, share Leinenkugels, tell tall tales and sing original catchy tunes, like “Ode to a Snowmobile Suit”, “The One That Got Away” and a ragtime number, “I’m the King”, with Marvin in the lead.
In capturing the essence of this Midwestern lifestyle, the Theatre will have Leinenkugel beer and beef jerky for sale in the concession during the play’s two-week run. Now, all that’s missing is the cheese.
Tickets are $16 for adults, $8 for student reserved and $5 student RUSH at the door. Thursday, March 14, is “Bargain Night”, with $2 off adult ticket prices and $1 off student reserved. The SJCT box office is open Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The theatre’s business partner for Guys on Ice is Whidbey Island Bank. For more info, 378-3210, or www.sjctheatre.org.