ST. KILIAN - It’s not easy getting older. For George Thomas, the week leading up to his 50th birthday has been terrible. His dog is sick, his son is a slacker, his daughter wants to marry an older man, his wife is scatterbrained, and he has a troublesome neighbor who can’t move past her husband’s death. The Misfits Dinner Theater brings Thomas’s story, “The Big Five-Oh” by Brian Mitchell, to the St. Kilian stage starting Thursday.
Misfits member Matt Loosbrock picked the play but says the show is cast directed.
“It really depends on the cast that we have,” Loosbrock said about how the play is selected. “For whatever reason, we are seeing less and less male roles. We’ve had people leave the area and some people retiring… so we didn’t have as many male roles, so that kind of skims down what you can pick from. So I was looking for that three area for guys.
“It just so happened I came across this ‘Big Five-Oh,’’ and you can preview the script and read probably the first act online for free, and I called up Audrey (Brake) and told her ‘I read the first act and I haven’t quit laughing.’ … It’s definitely got comedy to it,” Loosbrock said.
Loosbrock said rehearsals have been going well, but the smaller cast has created a few challenges with illness. However, the seven veteran Misfits have been able to pull through.
“Everybody that’s been a part of this has been a part of it (before),” Loosbrock said. “Everybody knows the time that has to be put into it, and they do a really good job at preparing.”
One often overlooked aspect of the Misfits performances is how they benefit the community, beyond the enjoyment experienced by the audiences.
“One thing we’ve never really stressed a lot upon is all of the proceeds - 100 percent of the proceeds after we pay for the food and all of that - go back into our local area,” Loosbrock explained. “... The money left over is divided up amongst every cast member. You get an equal share. We never see a dollar. We get told, ‘This is what you have. Where would you like it donated to?”
“I’ve donated to fire departments, to local churches, to Legion halls,” Loosbrock said. “I know St. Mary’s has received some donations (and) Toys for Tots. For $25 you get a wonderful meal and we hope great entertainment that you’re enjoying, and it really is benefiting the community.”
By letting each cast member designate where the money goes, Loosbrock said it provides a chance to spread the money around to different organizations in the communities the cast represents. Loosbrock said the cast has members from Adrian, Lismore, Wilmont and previously Worthington.
“I think if they want to enjoy a good laugh, it’s a very funny play,” Brake said.”It’s just a night of enjoyment. The food is good. Most people know what we’re all about that are in the area, and if they don’t know, get a hold of one of our cast or a hold of somebody that they know that’s gone, cause it seems like most people who do come back and seem to enjoy it quite a bit.”
“The Big Five-Oh” will run four nights. Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s shows start at 6 p.m., and Sunday’s show is at 5:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased by calling Roxie Kremer, (507) 926-5277. For Thursday’s show, Reading Bus Lines will provide transportation from Worthington, Reading, Rushmore and Wilmont.