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Pictures of three of the great actors – all local talent!
All photos provided courtesy of SRO.

Star Dave Champagne as Sheridan Whiteside

Kellie Petersen as Nurse Preen

Jessica Caldwell as Lorraine Sheldon

SRO presents THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart,
which opened last night to a SOLD-OUT audience at Gordons Grange Hall.

Director Nancy Tribush Hillman introduced the evening describing the journey to get to a place to put on a three-act play such as this one, in Yelm. She said the Grange was built as a meeting place decades ago and while this play is “transformative” for the interior of the space (Grange Hall), this is also transformative for the community as a whole. Hillman’s brilliance truly tansformed the Hall’s interior to a Yonker’s, New York apartment for the previous show and now this one – shear genius in the creative use of a wall, lighting, a few props & coaxing memorable performances from a wide variety of local folks on her stage.

“I am thrilled & proud to be doing this kind of work. I enjoy it immensely”, Hillman stated to the SRO (standing room only) crowd.

Hillman went on to share the 10 year history of the unique Drew Harvey Theater in Yelm & productions she managed there from 1995-2005 and after 5 years of finding direction, she is thrilled that Kellie Petersen has allowed these performances in the Grange & Gordon’s outdoor, summer amphitheater. Because of the strong attendance, there are many more plays planned, including a musical. She called this the “Phoenix” of the Drew!

“With your support, we’ll continue this work. Children’s classes are planned for January.
We have a WA. charitable organization for tax-deductible donations through SRO & N Theatre,” Hillman added.”

Don’t miss this play. The performances of each cast member were so outstanding, one gets lost in the characters and forgets these are our friends & neighbors. Lead actor Dave Champagne starring as Sheridan Whiteside was amazing in anchoring all three acts and carrying-out such a demanding script with a sharp finesse & exquisite detail.

Yelm’s community theater reminds me of Mayor Shinn of Meredith Wilson’s THE MUSIC MAN, who would be so proud of an asset like this in his town. One can hope this time, our civic leaders come out to see Hillman’s rebirth of a gem in our midst.

“The Man Who came To Dinner”
Gordons Grange Hall
adjacent Gordon’s Garden Center

December 15-19th

“In this comical gem of a play, international celebrity Sheridan Whiteside is forced to spend his favorite holiday, Christmas, at the home of a local Ohio couple because of an injured hip. To repay their hospitality, he sues them for damages, inspires their children to rebel against their authority, co-opts two floors of their house, steals their servants, and fills their space with exotic animals, bugs and huge curios as Broadway stars, playwrights and movie comics parade in and out of his self-appointed receiving room. The dialogue is sharp and witty, the cast sparkling, and the laughs non-stop,” quoting SRO’s flier.

Tickets $10. Available @ Yelm Food Co-Op, Gordons Garden Center or at the door.

Our local friends & neighbors that will razzle-dazzle you with their performances include:
Dave Champagne, Kellie Petersen, Joel & Melissa Derefield, Rae and Guy Simpson, Paul and Denise Kennelly, Ruthanne Chadwick, Aaron Rodriguez, Lauren Rodriguez, Jessica Caldwell, Dr. Brian Keay and Yelm youngsters comprising a sweet Children’s Choir.
I so enjoyed seeing Kevin McManus return to bring the depth of his presence to the Yelm stage, though in a very small roll.

This show proved in last night’s opening to be one of the Yelms jewel performances, with Director Nancy Tribush Hillman at her best, joined by a cast of talented Yelm-area actors.

Please grab your family, go see, support & enjoy this holiday masterpiece for our town:
The Man Who came To Dinner tonight, Friday, Saturday & Sunday!

Posted by Steve on December 16, 2010 at 1:47 am | Permalink

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