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oh, that “Smell”!

February 7, 2015

It’s been a week since the second and last performance of The Smell of Money, a parody of The Sound of Music I wrote, and I’m still buzzed from it.  I told the cast at the wrap party that it was the most fun I’ve had with a group since the 60’s, and the most fun ever with a group in public.

I had written and produced several knock-offs of Saturday Night Live in the 70’s, but nothing as complex as this.  I had no idea what it would be like.  Jude and I co-produced it.   We were working with some immensely talented folks, so I feared there might be some interesting but tense creative sparks.  Wrong.  Every moment of it was pure delight.

We only had a month to rehearse.  I think that heightened the camaraderie.  The generosity of spirit that pervaded the entire process was intoxicating.  I hope I retain it to my end days, and I really wish I could bottle it.

The fun we had creating it was immediately picked up by the audience.  Because we had no stage in the restaurant where we performed, the cast wove through the patrons as they sang, danced and generally cavorted.  At the Saturday performance, audience members passed our fake pipeline (complete with oil leak) over their heads when it accidentally broke free.

None of us had worked without a stage before.  Judging from the crowd’s response, comments after the show, and the cast’s feelings, it couldn’t have gone better.  And it didn’t hurt that the restaurant has a liquor license.

Let me introduce you to the cast, in order of appearance:

Smell of $ The Play 010

Hal Hill, played by Guy Holmes.  Guy — a born comedian — humanized Hal, who comes to our island paradise from the states looking for resources to drain through a method of super-extraction called “frucking”.  If anybody reading this actually owns such a system, I’d like to point out that it was Guy’s idea.


Smell of $ The Play 007

Nirvana Wachowski, played by Julie Douglas, our very own Julie Andrews.  Blessed with astounding vivacity and a terrific voice, she embodied the spirit of Quadra as it resisted efforts to be colonized the the U.S.


Smell of $ The Play 012

Kris Wellstein (left) and Lois Taylor, two of our militant vegans.  Talented singers and actors, they doubled as reporters, and Kris tripled as an earthy grandma.  Lois is one of the community owners of Heriot Bay Inn, where the play was performed.  I deeply appreciate the chance she took with our production.


Smell of $ The Play 004

Ford Cannon, with a booming bass voice and a comically expressive face, played a vegan, then the villainous C. E. Owens, ending up as a fairly decent human when love redeems him under the Quadra moon.


Smell of $ The Play 013

John Nursall as U.S. Army Major Malcolm Funktion, trying to be what he thinks all Canadians look like.  John is extremely introverted.  We gave him a minor role just to keep him off the streets.


Smell of $ The Play 009

Phil Stone, publisher and editor of  the Discovery Islander, the biweekly chronicle of life in these here parts.  He did a celebrity cameo as a reporter.


Smell of $ The Play 015

Emma Arps, who first played a vegan, then bent genders to play David, a young lad looking for love and fershtinkiners to confront.


Smell of $ The Play 005

Karen Holmes as Hallelujah Hildie, Quadra’s foremost member of the hospitality industry, so nicknamed because she’s helped more young men on the island come to Jesus than any preacher.


Smell of $ The Play 016

Tim Paré (right), with a revitalized John.  Tim, as U.S. Army General Marion Malaise, was the highest ranking member of the cast.  But even with all his brass, he could not resist the magic of the local moon.


Smell of $ The Play 006

Linda Cannon, our musical director, the hardest working woman in show business.  She was the eye of the hurricane of creativity.


Smell of $ The Play 018

All of us at the cast party.  The silver-tressed beauty to my left on the couch is my very own Jude, who did a fine turn as a sassy food facilitator.  To her left is our director Chris Thompson, who is already thinking about his next production.


  1. Cathy Sieberg permalink
    February 7, 2015 5:51 pm

    Great looking play.:::, congrats Jude is looking great too How’s the knee ??? You both fit in on the island.. Was so happy to finally come on your turf.. We had a good time.. Thanks again .. Hope to see you sooner than before Hugs and love

    Sent from my iPhone


    • February 8, 2015 11:16 am

      Thanks, Cathy. I can now walk without pain not using a cane, but I need to use it for two more months so I won’t develop a limp. We’d love to see you again. Our door is always open. Well, unlocked.

  2. Inveterate Teacher permalink
    February 8, 2015 9:26 am


  3. John permalink
    February 8, 2015 1:36 pm

    Thanks for coaxing me out of my shell, you two! I feel I will soon muster the confidence, if not the costumery, to venture out in public.
    ~ Maj. Malcolm (Mal) Funktion (US Army, Retired) & Co-proprietor, Hinterland Woo-Hoo! Camping Ground, Granite Bay, Under the Quadra Moon.

    • February 8, 2015 3:03 pm

      Jude and I are very proud of you, Mal, for coming out and for starting a much-needed industry in Granite Bay. We hope to work with you many more times, if you can score a decent costume.

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