In the Nestor Newtons' dressing room, they tell raunchy jokes, crank the rock music, walk around in their jocks and crack open many cans of beer - typical stuff at the local arena when a bunch of past-their-prime hockey players get together.
Nestor Memorial Arena is the setting for playwright Roy Teed's The Good Game, a Canadian play that has brought some Slap Shotesque laughs to White Rock's Coast Capital Playhouse.
The script follows a group of ol' hockey buddies as they reunite for a charity match against the current, much younger edition of the Newtons team. Four of the characters are hockey players, another is a female reporter who returns to cover the game, and two are in the radio broadcast booth, located high above the "no alcohol permitted on premises" sign in the dressing room.
Prior to curtain, Can-rock anthems by the likes of Rush, Neil Young and April Wine fill the theatre, and there's a scene that involves dancing to BTO's "Takin' Care of Business."
The action is directed by Lisa Pavilionis, who is on the play-reading committee with White Rock Players' Club.
"Right off the bat, I loved the script," she told the Now. "What we do in the play-reading committee is read a play out loud - essentially a table read - so we were sitting there and it was non-stop laughter for me.
Being a Canadian, I love my hockey, and I just love the characters in this play, and we're lucky to have these actors in this show."
Pat McDermott well plays the jokester Charlie Boyd, the Newtons' goalie who has clearly taken too many pucks to the head.
Paul Cowhig is faded star Zack Taylor, who also reconnects with fellow former players C.J. MacDonald (Andrew Wood), who gives out copies of his book and trips up the others with his advanced vocabulary, and Pinkie Lavac (Roger Meloche). Lynne Karey-McKenna plays reporter Samantha Brown, both loved and loathed by all the players, and Keaton Mazurek and Dave Caroll are the guys in the broadcast booth.
"It's mainly a comedy," Pavilionis noted, "but there's that little bit of romance in the show, too. It's a story that just has that team feeling, that you can go away for 30 years, come back and things kind of click back in place. People are different after all that time, and things have changed, but there's still that connection, that friendship."
White Rock Players' Club first considered staging The Good Game during the Winter Olympics year of 2010, but another local theatre company (Langley Players) had the rights to it that winter.
With the NHL lockout over and games back on the calendar, Pavilionis is thrilled to direct a play about hockey.
"The funny thing is, since hockey's been back I haven't had any time to watch any games," she said. "We're just hoping people come see this play, even if there is a Canucks game on TV."
The Good Game opened Wednesday, Feb. 6 and runs until Feb. 23 at Coast Capital Playhouse, White Rock. For show and ticket info, call 604-536-7535 or visit www. whiterockplayers.ca.
© Copyright 2013