Catch it if you can

” An advertising man who brought his bride to a mountain lodge for their honeymoon asks the police to investigate her sudden disappearance. He is astonished when the local priest brings another woman who insists, despite his protests, that she is his wife!”

With that kind of a plot and a cast featuring 146 years of collective experience, the stage may be set for a riveting performance of Thomas Robert’s murder mystery Catch Me If You Can, opening in January at the Scarborough Theatre Guild.

In her 16 years as a director, Jacqui Burke has had the opportunity to work with several of the cast members before and says that in the three months it takes to get the play from ” soup to nuts,” familiarity makes the task a lot easier.

“In terms of groups of people we have been working stunningly well together,” she said. “It becomes a verbal shorthand because they know what I want and it becomes easier.”

Veteran community actor Jerry Chadwick heads the cast with his 37 years of stage management, acting and singing experience. He is so well respected he did not have to audition for the part.

“I got called and asked if I could come and read for the part,” he said.

Chadwick plays Father Kelleher, who ” is a priest, or might not be,” he said. ” He may be a murderous priest, or not.”

Starting his acting career at 16, Chadwick went on to become a teacher, spending the last 33 years in education. He is the principal of Highcastle Public School, on Military Trail, where he teaches drama.

He also belongs to Scarborough Players, Scarborough Theatre Guild and Scarborough Music Theatre.

A recipient of two Thea awards for community theatre in southern Ontario, Chadwick has had to work through a lot to become recognized, but insists it is worth it.

“It took a lot of years to learn to become the character and leave the school teacher or principal or whoever at that time [I] was, outside in the dressing room and become the person on stage,” he said. “Once you do that there’s no feeling like it especially when an audience responds.

“It’s just absolutely amazing. That’s why I keep coming back for all these years.”

Catch Me If You Can opens on Jan. 3-19, 2008 at the Scarborough Village Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at the box office at 3600 Kingston Rd. or by calling (416) 396 4049.