Arts and Entertainment

Major award for Ed Strum; ‘Connoisseurs’ wins Pickering Award

A play written by Ed Strum of Cape San Juan has been awarded the 2010 Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence.

Strum’s comedy, “The Connoisseurs,” will premiere March 4 in the

Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater, Mich. The historic opera house and theater opened Sept. 21, 1882.

Strum was a founder of the Benefit Players Theatre, which performed in the former Pig War Museum. He is a graduate of Yale University. He has written, directed, acted in and produced many plays and sets of plays in repertory. He has written many one-act plays (comedies, farces, dramas) and a few monologues. Several of these have been produced.

His full-length plays include "Montoba," a fantasy which was a semi-finalist in the 2007 Stanley Drama Awards.

His directing credits include "Shadowlands," "The Laramie Project," "Don’t Dress For Dinner," "La Vie Ennui," "Last of the Red Hot Lovers," "Arsenic and Old Lace," "Endgame," and "Barefoot In The Park."

His acting credits include "To Kill A Mockingbird," "Bye Bye Birdie," "Deathtrap," "Funny Money," "Hello Dolly!," "If Men Played Cards The Way Women Do," and "Endgame."

A synopsis of "The Connoissiers": When many cases of fine, rare and expensive wine, ingeniously packaged, float ashore on George’s beach, he is faced with a moral dilemma. George loves fine wine, but he and his wife Lynn, and their next door neighbors Al and Peggy, soon realize they are dealing with a major smuggling operation. Should they hide this lost and stolen wine and keep it, or return it? If so, to whom? Lynn opts to return it but Al and Peggy side with George.

Initially reluctant, Lynn takes charge and decides to hide the smuggled goods. While George is focused on salvaging his precious wine, Peggy is turned on by the danger and excitement of this venture and Al is all gloom and doom, expecting the worst. They find themselves continuously besieged and must find creative methods to stay one step ahead of smugglers, law enforcement and a snoopy neighbor.

When they believe they have found the perfect solution, events suddenly take an unexpected turn. Peggy finds an extremely rare object in one of the bottles of wine and inadvertently uncovers the real smuggling operation.

The situation becomes more complex and confusing. The comedic action is fast paced with unexpected twists and turns as the stakes become much higher and more dangerous and the two couples attempt to extricate themselves from this dangerous dilemma.

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