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Lunch Hour Soap Opera Drama Continues

Turn off the television, get out of the house, and still watch a soap opera drama. The Summer Playhouse's weekly dramna, the "Rubies Soap Opera Digest," continues at the Algonquin Hotel (at Queen and Bay) for the next three weeks.
Turn off the television, get out of the house, and still watch a soap opera drama. The Summer Playhouse's weekly dramna, the "Rubies Soap Opera Digest," continues at the Algonquin Hotel (at Queen and Bay) for the next three weeks.

This event is a perfect way to spend a lunch hour. The next episode of the series, entitled "Mark Makes a New Life," will be this Friday, August 13th and Saturday August 14th beginning at 12:10 PM.

Patrons are encouraged to bring their lunch, although beverages, sandwiches and snacks are available at the event. Tickets are $7.00(door). For more information, call the box office hotline at 255-0675.

In the vein of a true soap opera, you can jump into performances at any time and still enjoy the story. Here's a recap of the storyline so far:

Episode One: The Set-up

As EPISODE ONE begins, we meet the staff of RUBIES, a regular hang-out for the downtown office crowd.

BRIAN, the Manager, it is quickly revealed, has a gambling problem, a condition servers CLIFFE and GAYLE are all too aware of. RUBIES is owned by ANGELO, a local entrepreneur who spends most of his time at his business interests in Sault, Michigan leaving BRIAN in charge of the bar.

As THE REGULARS AT RUBIES arrive, we are introduced to the young newlyweds, PATRICIA and MARK, who have moved from Toronto to the Sault for PATRICIA'S first job after graduating from George Brown College.

PATRICIA excitedly brings husband MARK to Rubies to meet her new boss and co-workers from the EDC. It is meant to be a celebration but Patricia has innocently brought MARK into the clutches of his jealous ex-lover, MELANIE -- the older woman who, as fate would have it, also happens to be Patricia's new Boss!

MELANIE, in an attempt at restarting the affair, tells MARK that his wife plans to get pregnant despite their agreement that they aren't ready for children. MARK foolishly allows MELANIE to drive him home to look for proof that PATRICIA has thrown away her birth control pills -

But MELANIE isn't the only person plotting.

JUDY, Melanie's assistant, feels the time has come to usurp her boss and gain the coveted position of Tourism Coordinator for the City of Sault Ste. Marie. Seducing the ladies man and graphic designer JIM MOORE, she enlists him to aid her in her plot to smear MELANIE'S reputation and once and for all gain the power she feels she deserves even if Bruce, the EDC President gets caught in the cross-fire.

The board is set and the game begins.

Who will be successful?

Who will have their lives shattered?

Episode Two: The Revenge Move

JUDY, in her plot to secure the position of Tourism Coordinator, believes that her boss, MELANIE has taken the bait in the form good looking young JIM MOORE, but Melanie has plans of her own. Making her revenge move, she tells a confused and lonely MARK she is sure his young wife Patricia is having an affair with a co-worker (Jim Moore!).

MARK becomes unhinged and storms into City Hall in a drunken rage. It appears Melanie's scheme of revenge is gaining momentum and she sends Patricia to a trade show in Saskatchewan as the Tourism Sault Ste. Marie representative clearing the way for her seduction of Mark.

Meanwhile back at the bar...things are getting progressively worse for BRIAN as his gambling addition has put him in major debt. GAYLE won't lend him the money he needs and CLIFFE confronts him with the fact he knows Brian has been dipping into the till. It appears to be only a matter of time before ANGELO, Rubies owner, appears on the scene.

Episode Three: Lost in the Wilds of Sault Ste. Marie

Hanging out at the bar JIM MOORE is showing himself to the bartender CLIFFE, to be a pathological liar, when JUDY arrives with the news that MELANIE has officially been reported missing and that the office just received word that PATRICIA'S plane never landed in Saskatchewan. Even Judy asks Jim if he has ice in his veins, when he states that it would be a lucky break if she has died in a plane crash.

But PATRICIA is not dead. We find her in a cabin somewhere, bound to a chair, suffering memory loss, and at the whim of a woman who claims they are outcast lovers called RITA and Dolly. The woman appears to be delusional.

Meanwhile, DETECTIVE MASOTTI, the gun-dropping investigating officer assigned to Melanie's disappearance, interviews Judy, Mark and Cliffe and he suspects nobody is telling him everything they know. He is anxious to talk to Melanie's physician, Dr. Beduddle.

With Patricia and Melanie both missing things couldn't be worse for Patricia's husband MARK. He has spent the last few days in a drunken haze and he confesses to Cliffe that, believing his wife was cheating on him, he slept with Melanie, but she admitted to smearing his wife's good name, and in a blind rage, he strangled her. Weak and vulnerable, MARK is completely blindsided when a MYSTERIOUS WOMAN enters Rubies and states, "My name is Patricia. The woman you're married to, is not who she says she is."

Episode Four: No One Lives Here Anymore

JIM, suspicious that JUDY will not fulfill her promises to him, sneaks into her office intent on finding a way to ruin her, but he finds himself face to face with the very person he tried to destroy, MELANIE STONE! Dirty, naked except for a ragtag coat, she believes she is Patricia. Jim calls Judy and they hatch a plot to spirit her out of the Sault.
Fearing that MARK could lose his life, the real PATRICIA lays out a sordid tale of deception and death that she insists is the true nature of her sister DEVON. At the cabin RITA, in an attempt to terrorize Devon, throws her into a cellar, but this act triggers memories that wipe out any goodness she had as Patricia. Devon brutally murders Rita and walks out of the cabin.

Meanwhile back at Rubies, Melanie has gone to the staff hangout and managed to gain entry after closing. Judy is right behind her and tries to convince the confused Melanie that she wants to escort her to her beloved Mark. Suddenly Judy is grabbed from behind, a gun appears and Melanie falls to the floor, shot!

Episode Five: My Name Is… Patricia
MELANIE STONE is dead, shot by an unknown assailant at Rubies. The only witness to the murder is JUDY who had followed MELANIE into the bar after hours. JUDY claims she was grabbed from behind and chloroformed however, and cannot remember anything. INVESTIGATING OFFICER MASOTTI interviews MARK and the woman who claims to be the real PATRICIA, but they keep the truth about their meeting to themselves. CLIFFE decides to protect MARK and does not tell Officer Masotti that Mark had already confessed to killing MELANIE two days before! Suddenly, in either a move of sheer investigative brilliance, or pure stupidity, Officer Masotti leaves Judy alone with the murder weapon – a handgun. Was he testing Judy? If so, it appears to be Mark who will pay the price. Mentally and physically exhausted, Mark falls asleep in Rubies, lulled by Judy’s soothing tones and while he is asleep Judy carefully places his hand around the murder weapon and returns it to the evidence bag. What started as a plot to secure a senior position at City Hall has become a tangled mess of criminal activity far more evil than Melanie Stone. Who ultimately, will pay the price for greed?