Tag Archives: New Prague

Merry Christmas, ya Filthy Animal

With the turning of the calendar into November, I guess you can finally say that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Especially if you’re in the theatre world, you’re either currently rehearsing a holiday show or determining when you can go see A Christmas Carol (I’ve got two right now – A Christmas Carole Petersen at Theatre Latte Da and A Christmas Carol at the Commonweal Theatre).

Gratefully, I am also in the first camp, although what I’m rehearsing is a little different than the familiar Dickens tale. This play is by Adam Hummel and called Snowed Inn. No, not Snowden, but Snowed_Inn. Not only is it a pun, but it’s also hilarious, telling the story of a disillusioned Hollywood screenwriter returning to his family inn in rural Minnesota on Christmas Eve, 1932. Like all good screwball comedies, of course, events quickly spire out of control when a mobster and his moll crash the party looking to run some hooch into Minneapolis. The play is a wonderful tribute to those romantic comedies of the ’30s as well as the classic gangster movies that I love so so so much!

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In fact, I get to play the role of the gangster! His name is “Dutch” and he’s got his own work cut out for him; trying to keep his cool and get promoted up the ranks with no help from his dizzy dame of a girlfriend, Flossy. Although I don’t get to say any of the famous lines, I do get to wear a fantastic suit and play the part of so many of my favorite actors. Certainly James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson, but I’d throw in George Raft, Humphrey Bogart and Paul Muni as well.

With that said, you can bet in addition to learning my part, I’ve taken this as a perfect opportunity to reacquaint myself with those pictures. Back in high school I went through a phase and now own about a dozen of them. Classics like The Public Enemy, Little Caesar, White Heat, Angels with Dirty Faces, The Petrified Forest, and Each Dawn I Die. Whew, even the titles are enough to set your imagination running!

All that is to say, of course, that I’m really stoked about this one and want to share it with as many people as possible. It’s directed by Ben Thietje and is at DalekoArts in New Prague, Minnesota. It’s really not that far (this is where I did Wait Until Dark last year) and with a cast of goofballs having the kind of fun we are, it’s definitely worth it. With such a quirky mix of holiday cheer, fun and thrills how can you resist?

SNOWED INN
a DalekoArts original holiday show
by Adam Hummel
directed by Ben Thietje Nov 25 – Dec 18, 2016
Fridays & Saturdays @ 7:30pm
Sundays @ 2:00pm

After failed screenwriter Archie Ježek leaves the glitz and glamour of 1930s Hollywood to return to the small, Minnesota town where he grew up to run the family hotel, his dreams of a quiet, steady Midwestern life quickly devolve to madcap holiday hijinks and mayhem. Featuring a cast of zany characters and silver screen slapstick, Snowed Inn is a family-friendly Christmas card celebrating your favorite classic films and the nostalgia of holidays past.

It’s another DalekoArts original holiday show!

DalekoArts recommends SNOWED INN for ages 13 and up.

Cast
Bobby Gardner*
Susan J Gerver
Vincent Hannam
Lindy Jackson
Zakary Morton
Dann Peterson
Emily Wrolson

Production
Jane Ryan (sets)
Kurt Jung (lights)
Elin Anderson (costumes)
Abbee Warmboe (props/scenic painter)*
Ben Thietje (sound)*
Janice Geis (stage manager)
Trevor Muller-Hegel (technical director)

*denotes company member

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Wait Until Dark? But I Want It Now!

Wauuu

This Friday I am opening a production of Wait Until Dark at DalekoArts in New Prague, Minnesota. It’s a charming little theatre nestled in between brick facades on main street that just begs for you to take a peek inside. And what will you find in there? Well, right now I whole lot of lighting instruments, building material, sound equipment, the occasional empty pizza box and a team of devoted artists working tirelessly on this show to get it ready for opening. So come on opening night and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

You’ll laugh! You’ll scream! You’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat in this adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the Audrey Hepburn movie of 1967. I have not seen it yet myself, but I am very much looking forward to settling in one October night (so soon!) and putting it on. I hear it is actually quite suspenseful, which it better be because the play certainly is!

The first time I read it I was clutching my hair, eagerly anticipating the finale. Maybe I just love this type of pulp storytelling too much, but if you want to see theatre that is going to fill you with dread then this is it. Set in NYC in 1944, it tells the story of a group of professional thieves trying to get a hold of a certain MacGuffin that happens to be in the possession of a blind woman with enough cunning to give them a run for their money.

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For my part, I get to play Sam, the husband. He’s a photographer who had a rough time over in Italy so he’s back in the States trying to hold down a career and keep his marriage together. To make things worse for the guy, he’s even in the way of the crooks, so they concoct a story to get him out of the picture. And wouldn’t you know it, the poor sap falls for it and leaves his wife alone to fend off the criminals. You’ll be on the edge of your seat just waiting for Sam to come home!

But honestly though, I couldn’t be having a greater time with this show. I love this genre and have always wanted to do something like this. I even get to light and smoke a cigarette on stage! An e-cig, sure, but these are things our imaginations can latch on to and end up having a heckuva lot of fun with. The cast and crew have been stellar, DalekoArts has really been superb to work for and our director, Anne Byrd, is top-notch. There is no good reason to not come out to New Prague between September 11 and October 4 and see Wait Until Dark.

OK, so the show takes a break between September 18-20 but that’s because there is a CZECH FESTIVAL in town so there’s still no excuse to not want to go to New Prague. Really. It’s not that far. There’s even a swanky little wine bar across the street where you’ll find yourself having as much fun as these guys.

And they know how to have fun.

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