The musical production currently on at the Almonte Old Town Hall, Naismith is Colourblind and He Can't Driveis the real thing. It's genuine, heartfelt and …sold out for Friday and Saturday! You can't get a ticket to either of those 2 presentations, however tickets are available at Mill Street Books in Almonte for the November 13 Sunday afternoon performance.
Based on the life of Mississippi Mills' beloved icon – James Naismith, the inventor of basketball – the play is totally charming, homegrown and irresistible. Hearing local place names and familiar references absolutely delighted the full house that attended las night's performance.
Writer Fern Martin, Director Thora Pugh and Producer Barbara Dickson have done a wonderful job in creating an entertaining piece about James (he preferred to be called "Jimmy"_ Naismith. It's full of facts about his early years growing up in Ramsay Township, going to school in Almonte, his friendship with R. Tait McKenzie and of his adult years when he moved to the United States, married and had a family. His career in the ministry and as a teacher of innovative physical education took place in the USA and it was there that he invented the game of basketball. That fact and the fact that we're still proud to claim the Naismith name forms the tug-of-war expressed by the characters of two historians played by Al Jones for the USA and Kathy Duncan for Canada.
The ensemble cast of 18, led by the amazing Mark Piper as James Naismith (the adult version), does a very fine job as actors and vocalists, with the piano accompaniment of Colleen Skjaveland.
The play was written with information from two books: The Basketball Man: James Naismith, by Bernice Larson Webb and from Brothers of the Wind: R. Tait McKenzie and James Naismith by Frank Cosentino, and the video The Father of Basketball (Leaps and Bounds).
CBC Radio's All in Day conducted an interview with the stars of the show on Friday November 11. Listen to the interview at http://www.cbc.ca/allinaday/2011/11/11/4-naismiths-1-studio/