Have ‘A Night in the Theatre' with RCP

Friday, May 11, 2012
Marsha Morgan, left, Paula McCormack, A.J. McNamara, and Justin Aden play a pair of couple out to see “Hamlet,” in “A Night in the Theatre.” (ADAM VOGLER)

After many nights of rehearsal, the audience can finally catch a rare glimpse of themselves.

The River City Players will present a two-act comedy, "A Night in the Theatre" by Lawrence Casler, starting tonight. In the play, Margaret and Stanley Locker and their friends Donna and Walter Pace are at the theater for "Hamlet," their weekly dose of culture. After they seat themselves with some confusion, the show consists of their incessant chatter about themselves, their children, a dead friend and even occasionally Shakespeare and his play. Secrets emerge and friendships unravel amid laughter.

"It's a very fun, delightful comedy," director Andrea Shovan said. "This play has a variety of emotions; drama, friendship, betrayal. Not to mention we have all had someone like the Lockers or the Paces sitting behind us at one time or another."

River City Players president Debbie Barnhouse said the play is a bit of a spoof on the audience. The two couples on stage do everything but watch the play.

"They talk, they argue and you get to see all their discussions," Barnhouse said. "It's an interesting and relatable situation, for sure."

The characters are said to be extremely exaggerated, but the audience gets to see the underlying personal issues between the four, and all in good humor. Shovan has been working closely with the four actors in preparation, and expects they will convey the true spirit of the characters they play. Cast members include Justin Aden playing Stanley Locker, Marsha Morgan as Margaret Locker, Paula McCormack playing Donna Pace, and A.J. McNamara as Walter Pace.

"This is my third year with River City Players and the second show I have directed for them, and I know this show is going to be hysterical," Shovan said. "The main characters have this terrific chemistry that could be felt even at auditions, so I expect a lot of laughs. We have also included some interesting extras I think people will enjoy."

Barnhouse said the cast is a great mix of River City Players veterans and "newbies" that have spent their lives with theatre.

"This is a wacky way for the audience to look at themselves," Barnhouse said. "If you've ever acted on stage, you know the audience puts on a show of their own. It's the proverbial show within a show."

McNamara said he is excited to start the show and that it has been hilarious in rehearsals.

"We hope it's a show with a run full of laughs," McNamara said. "I have been on stage and looked out into the audience and noticed people sleeping, small children picking their noses … you name it. It's nice to spoof that a little."

The play will begin at 7 p.m. each night at Port Cape's Yacht Club, and reservations can be made now by calling 334-0954. The dinner show will run tonight and tomorrow, then May 18 and 19. The dinner will consist of a Port Cape buffet, and show reservations are $35. The play will also run May 17, sans dinner, and the cost is $15 or $10 with a student ID.

jsamons@semissourian.com

388-3641

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