TNO's Gym Tonic promises laughs, a chance to reflect

Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario play opens Jan. 23

Veronique Champoux performs a scene from Theatre du Nouvel-Ontario's (TNO) production of Gym Tonic in Sudbury, Ont. on Tuesday January 14, 2020. The comedy is a lighthearted look at self-esteem, body culture and physical training. The play will be at TNO from January 23 to February 1. John Lappa/Sudbury Star

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Who hasn’t tried to get their mind off a seismic life event? Who hasn’t tried to reinvent themselves?

Martine Laforce is a depressed 50-year-old divorcee with less than ideal muscular tone. She’s hoping that a gym membership will get her life back on track.

Will she thrive in this world of biceps, spandex, intense coaches, strange clients and pulsating music?

Ryan Demers-Lafrenière directs Gym Tonic, the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario’s (TNO) 40th community production.

This energetic comedy, a lighthearted look at self-esteem, body culture and overblown physical training, will be taking the stage from Jan. 23 to Feb. 1.

On stage, a cast of colourful characters is brought to life by amateur actresses and actors from the region: Véronique Champoux is Martine, Réginald Demers-Lafrenière is Kevin, Maude Bourassa Francoeur is Kim, Olivier Vanderbeken is Christian, Nadia Simard is Bélinda, Mélodie Dubuc is Roxanne, and Marc Huneault is Michel.

“If Gym Tonic is a light comedy that promises plenty of fun and laughs, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on the cult of the perfect body: do we really need to be chiselled to feel comfortable in our own skin?” says Marie-Pierre Proulx, TNO’s artistic director. “I want to commend the production’s fabulous team on their engagement, to have embarked on this adventure with us all without fear of the ridiculous. Because it should be noted that rehearsals often resemble workout sessions at the gym: cardio, aerobics, boxing, stationary bike, treadmill … you name it.

 

The Extras

Story and Craft Time: Led by two facilitators, children aged 4 to 10 can benefit from an awesome program filled with stories, crafts, and snacks while adults watch the show. It’s free for audience members during the 2 p.m. show on Saturday, Jan. 25, but space is limited.

As with every year during our community show, we will be accepting donations of canned goods on behalf of the Sudbury Food Bank.

Fundraising Campaign: To mark the occasion of the community production’s 40th edition, seven local personalities will take the stage. One at a time, they will share the stage with the other amateur actors to bring to life Boule de feu, an intense and enigmatic character bent on increasing his muscle mass. The seven brave men who’ve decided to tackle this challenge are:

  • Denis J. Bertrand (Jan. 23, 8 p.m.)
  • Yves Pelletier (Jan 24, 8 p.m.)
  • Jean Marc Spencer (Jan. 25, 2 p.m.)
  • Christian Pelletier (Jan. 25, 8 p.m.)
  • Karim Omri (Jan. 30, 8 p.m.)
  • Denis Constantineau (Jan. 31, 8 p.m.)
  • Marc Despatie (Feb. 1, 4 p.m.)

Community members are invited to support their chosen candidate through a donation. The objective? Collect $1,000 for each of them. These funds will go towards supporting the TNO’s numerous community initiatives. Is it ambitious? Yes. But with your help, we can reach our goal. Each participant’s profile and the donation portal are available (in French) on our website.

For more, go to letno.ca, or call 705 525-5606.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @SudburyStar

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