Fishing for an audience
READING -- The Reading Community Players are at it again with their boisterous actions and laugh-out-loud hysterics with this year's dinner theater production, "The One That Got Away."...
READING -- The Reading Community Players are at it again with their boisterous actions and laugh-out-loud hysterics with this year's dinner theater production, "The One That Got Away."
In their ninth year, the players have chosen yet another comedy penned by Eddie McPherson, writer of the famed "Virgil's Wedding" and others, to entertain crowds in weekend performances to kick off next Friday night at the Reading Community Center.
Karen Feit, one of four individuals to have a part in all eight of the group's past productions, took time out from a hectic practice schedule earlier this week to share a bit of the storyline for readers.
"There's a fishing tournament on Lake Okabena and four fisherwomen are going to compete," she said. "Some of the men don't know which end of the fish the hook goes in -- they think they're going to go to pick up chicks."
Feit portrays Annie, a sophisticated planner who maps out the fishing expedition for the gals -- all of whom are quite experienced with rod and reel.
The character is quite a change from the Momma Sludge Feit portrayed in the Virgil series.
"Sophisticated and Feit don't go in the same sentence," she said. "It's an oxymoron."
While the women think their going to win the fishing tourney, the men in the cast have other ideas.
"The men think they are going to teach us everything they know," Feit said. "Come to find out, they don't know anything!
"They think they're suave and debonair. Impressing women -- I don't think they had any lessons!" she added.
Scott Brunk, who many may remember for his role as Virgil in "Virgil's Wedding" and other productions in the Virgil series, portrays the leading male role in the cast. His dad, Bruce Brunk, who has been known to dress in drag for past productions, is again likely to generate a lot of laughs.
"He is the most hilarious," said Feit, adding that during rehearsals, cast members have had to hide behind newspapers or books to keep from laughing out loud on stage.
"He wore his costume early so we could get all the laughter out, but it hasn't helped," she said with a laugh.
This year, the cast members will get up close and personal with the audience, thanks to a four-foot extension built on the front of the stage. The stage itself will feature a large roof on the back end to look like a lodge.
The Reading Community Players have been practicing four nights a week since January. With its smallest cast ever, at 10, Feit said everyone has a lot of lines to learn. The cast is directed once again by Sandy Wood.
All of the cast members this year are repeat performers. Along with Feit, Wanda Larson, Al Madison and Tom Feit have been a part of all nine of the Reading Community Players productions. The remaining six cast members have been in at least three of the past productions.
Each year, the dinner theater serves as a fundraiser for the Reading Community Center. One of the biggest projects, replacing the building's roof, has now been completed. This year, said Feit, the funds will help cover the cost of fuel oil and the day-to-day operations at the center.
"We've added a fridge and rewired the kitchen, painted the gym and put epoxy in the entry way," she said improvements funded by the annual play. In addition, the players have been able to donate to the Reading-Wilmont Presbyterian Church Youth group and the Art Club, which paints the murals used for the stage scenes.
For the second consecutive year, the Hi-Lo Club of Lakefield will cater the dinner theater. On the menu is turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, a dinner roll and cherry crisp for dessert.
Tickets for the reserved-seating performances are available by calling 478-4260, 372-7223 or 926-5404.