If you haven’t had a chance to see the first two installments of the Wild Heart Acres improv saga, Episode 1 on January 30th featured a murderous pig, a flying machine, and a plot to take over the town.
Last month, Episode 2 brought out forbidden love, betrayal, and… some sloppy ducks.
As usual, Emmett J. Murdoch (James McGee), gets the ball rolling. He bows like a gentleman of the Old West, dances a little prairie jig (!), and the show begins from the audience suggestion of “a picture of a best friend.”
Pa Moses Stanley (Vance Gillis) reveals a pretty potent backstory in that his wife, Bonnie, now deceased, temporarily ran off with another man before they were married. Young Lottie Stanley (Ariel DeRoo) doesn’t know her father’s story, and she unwittingly falls in love with Billy Murphy Jr. (James McGee), the son of the man Moses lost his wife to. Moses confronts Billy about his intentions towards his daughter, and Billy says he is willing to do anything to prove that his feelings are sincere.
Well, that ends up being a spit-shine of Moses’ dead wife’s picture that had been recently soiled by duck feces. When you consider that the ducks belonged to Murphy Sr. in the first place… eye for an eye?
Next, Emmett plays the doting son to his chronically ill (and ill-tempered) mother, Mrs. Murdoch (Kyla Margaret), who openly wishes her son was more of a success and less of a disappointment. Not too undone by her words, Emmett announces that he is having a bank built in town as a tribute to his late father. Of course, he just needs his mother’s money to get started, but Ma Murdoch seems all too happy to oblige, as long as he doesn’t fail. Emmett vows that he will eat his own hat before he’ll succumb to failure.
Emmett gets to the bank and is horrified to discover that no work has begun and the crew is mostly nowhere to be found. Enter Murphy Sr., Billy’s father (Kyla Margaret), who claims he has outbid Emmett for the deed to the land and ownership of the bank. Emmett admits defeat and goes straight home, preparing to literally “eat his own hat.”
Lottie, being homeschooled by her sister Hazel (Lara Simms), gets an unexpected visit from Billy, who cuts school to see her. Moses forbids their relationship and decides that the best thing for everyone is to move out of Wild Heart Acres.
In the end, it’s the Murphy clan that saves the day. Murphy Sr. breaks the news that he is dying and will not be taking on the bank after all. Then Billy Murphy unveils a hand-drawn picture of Moses’s late wife, as a sentimental tribute. With the honour of his wife restored, and the senior Murphy getting his just desserts, Moses decides to stay in town and give Lottie permission to see Billy.
Stay tuned for Episode 3.
Wild Heart Acres’ next installment is at Montreal Improv (3697 St-Laurent) on March 20. 8:30 p.m. Doors open at 8:00. $8