Story by Casey Lessard Photo courtesy Drayton Entertainment
“Canadians typically say sorry for everything. We’re sorry for this and sorry for that.” And that, says star Neil Aitchison, is the running joke for his role in Sorry… I’m Canadian, which runs June 24 to July 12 at the Huron Country Playhouse. “Alex (Mustakas) and I collaborated and wrote this, and it’s a patriotic, feel good show.” Aitchison stars as RCMP Constable Archibald F. Inkster, and this is the fourth incarnation for the character; previously, Aitchison played the role at Drayton and St. Jacobs in Bending the Bows, Canadian Loonie, and Canadian Twonie. “After four different shows, we ran out of some of our one-liners, so we conscripted (renowned Canadian comedian) Dave Broadfoot,” Aitchison says. “He helped us and collaborated on a few other one-liners because we wanted to do a cross-country tour on this show. I have about 30 pages of dialogue in my head and four-and-a-half of them are from Dave Broadfoot.” Besides jokes about Stephen Harper, hockey, the weather, and other Canadianisms, the real star attraction is the music. The show could be compared in style to last year’s Legends, but is different in the type of music: it’s all Canadian. “They’ll recognize all the music. Burton Cummings, Gordon Lightfoot, maritime music, Leonard Cohen, some French, Alberta Bound, Saskatchewan music, music from the Inuit from Susan Aglukark. And of course, all the Canadian patriotic songs like Something to Sing About, This Land of Ours, O Canada.” The music is performed and sung by Duncan Cameron (fiddle), Bobby Prochaska (bass), Mark Stewartson (banjo) and Danny Williams (guitar). Aitchison also recruited family friends, the Ballagh Bunch (Devan, 17, Michael, 15, Paige, 13 and Matthew, 8) to dance. “They step dance and they just kick up a storm for us. They’re giving up sports and summer holidays to do this show.” Aitchison says any audience will enjoy the show, but expects it will take a few performances for word of mouth to spread. “Usually it opens slow; people don’t know what it’s all about. As soon as they go and see it, though, the word of mouth is so great that we end up selling out to the walls. Lots of people come back three or four times and bring their neighbours or kids. It really is a great patriotic Canadian piece. “Every time we’ve done it, people ask us why it hasn’t been done before. They say the people from Ottawa should be here, and we should entertain the troops. It’s amazing how it gets people all fired up.” Aitchison’s only regret? “I’m just sorry that we didn’t do this sooner.” For tickets, visit //www.huroncountryplayhouse.com or call 519-238-6000.