Great Bend Community Theatre’s valentine to audience members is a romantic comedy, “Enchanted April.”
On opening night, Valentine’s Day, GBCT is also offering a candlelit Italian dinner, complete with flowers, wine and music, prior to the show, and preferred seating at the play. That will take place at Maggie’s, 1318 Kansas Ave., just around the corner from the Crest Theater, 1905 Lakin, where the play runs Feb. 14 to 17. The dinner theater is a charitable event, limited to 100 people, and tickets are $50 per person. Funds will go toward capital improvements at the theater, a project known as “Equip the Arts at the Crest.”
For the dinner theater option only, tickets should be reserved by Tuesday. Call Colleen Renk, 701-471-8482, or leave a message at 620-792-4228.
For the play only, the ticket office will be open to take orders starting Monday. During the week it will be open from noon to 1 p.m. and 1 hour before each performance. Doors open 30 minutes before the performance. The play can be seen at 8 p.m. this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and there will be a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Feb. 17.
About the play
Karen Kline-Martin directs “Enchanted April,” by Matthew Barber based on a 1922 novel by Elizabeth von Arnim. Two frustrated London housewives decide to rent a villa in Italy for a holiday from their bleak marriages, and they recruit two very different women to share the costs. The Mediterranean sunshine works its magic and romance blooms. The play has the feel of a chick flick, but a good one. It has won several awards in its various adaptations, including movies and a Broadway play.
GBCT stays true to the original 1920s setting. “We’ve been raiding all sorts of places (for costumes and props), but that’s community theater,” Kline-Martin said. Thrift stores, cast members’ own closets, and the costume inventory of both Great Bend Community Theater and Ellinwood High School (when the director works) have yielded vintage clothing. “Styles come around every 20 years,” the director commented, although the colors change.
The cast includes two newcomers to GBCT productions: Robert Bilak as Frederick and Maribeth Turner as Lotty. Other cast members are K.B. Bell as Antony Wilder, Jeff Gibson as Mellersh, Jennifer King as Rose, Angela Meitner as Caroline, Susan Mills as Mrs. Graves and Dyann Twitchell (who assists with directing) as Costanza.
Karen Neuforth is stage manager, and Kline-Martin is also assisted by her children, Sam and Fiona.