The universe of Marcel Gamache tells us about a bygone era. The screenwriter, who died in 1995, wrote created basil, symphoric, The diamonds… hit tv series. Sitcoms carried by folk humor, good-natured, almost improvised. With their mother-in-law jokes, a far cry from today’s gags and comics surfing on the controversy.
Posted at 8:00 am
Different times, different manners. So why produce symphoric 2022 in the theater? Simply for the joy of nostalgia for a time when laughter equaled carelessness. And where you could laugh with everyone about everything. If you’re not worth a laugh, as the saying goes, you’re not worth much.
Hence the return of symphoric in 2022, orchestrated by Pierre Huet and Louis Saïa, “after the characters, the imagination and the scenarios of Marcel Gamache”, is quite a successful venture. Of course the production, shown at the Théâtre du Vieux-Terrebonne ahead of a tour in Quebec, is aimed at a specific audience… And a very unified one.
As soon as the curtain rises, spectators are delighted to discover the interior designed by Jean Bard. The designer has recreated the inn from the TV series as it is, with the wooden staircase, the front door in the middle, the stained glass windows, etc. The costumes and props (from Steinberg’s bag to the wall telephone) also transport us to the early 1980s , where the television series ended.
The characters are as identical as the setting: the good concierge father of 14, Symphorien, with his little moustache; his stupid brother Ephrem with his many questions and his failed jokes; Madame Sylvain, with her curves and stinginess; Berthe L’Espérance, the maid with enthusiasm as quick as her infidelity. Nothing has changed !
The company’s success is therefore based on the talent of the performers who defend characters forever marked by the memory of legendary actors. Gilles Latulippe, Juliette Huot, Jean-Louis Millette, Denis Drouin… But, and here’s the trick, most of them manage to appropriate their role… without making us forget the actors of the sitcom of yesteryear.
François Chénier is stunning as a Symphorian! Also Martin Héroux, Éphrem is incredibly similar to that of Fernand Gignac. The scene where the two brothers go jogging is memorable!
Nathalie Mallette, Michelle Labonté and Anne-Marie Binette are also in great shape and offer an unforgettable experience party by drunk girls. Stephan Côté accurately embodies four supporting characters, including a lecherous priest. On the other hand, the talented Patrice Coquereau, who plays the incredible Oscar Bellemare, among others, seemed nervous and hesitant to us on the night of the media premiere.
The piece, staged somewhat gently by Pierre Séguin and Saïa, moves somewhere between homage and a new proposal. It’s a production to watch if you like a hearty laugh… And remember the time before.
Based on the work of Marcel Gamache
Old Terrebonne Theaterto August 14th, then from September 10th on tour in Quebec