Picayune On Stage presents “Watching Waldo” this weekend only

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 11, 2017

Laughter is on the menu this weekend at the Hide-A-Way Lake Lodge as Picayune On Stage performs “Watching Waldo,” a play by John D. Smitherman.
“What happens when you’re house sitting for your boss, with strict rules for no visitors, when suddenly, every crazy neighbor and stranger converge at the door, creating chaos? Add to that the boss coming home early, and you have the hilarious comedy Watching Waldo,” a press release from the organization states.
Jeremy Hepler plays the employee and housesitter, John Douglas, who tries to keep everything under control, the release states.
Hopler is very talented, and studied theater both in high school and at the collegiate level, cast member Debbie Craig said. The play gives him the ability to showcase his comedic talent, she said.
The boss, played by Jim Henderson, and his wife, played by Donna Cohen, leave for a vacation just as the hippie neighbor who bakes “really good brownies” arrives. The neighbor, played by Caitlin Palmer, tries to leave her runaway little sister Hannah, played by Meghan Butler, with John while she goes to yoga, the release states.
Sara Howell plays John’s girlfriend, Jessica, who becomes increasingly confused by the guests that continue to arrive. Yonra, an office employee, played by Craig, mistakes getting fired for a marriage proposal, and starts to claim John as her husband, the release states.
“Yonra is the ultimate character role,” Craig said. She’s a woman who somehow gets hired by the company and is unable to speak or understand English, she said.
“The play leaves it up to you to determine what country she’s from,” but due to her name and the name of her boyfriend, Craig said she casts the role as an Eastern European woman.
The most intriguing part of her role is how absolutely clueless she is and how convinced she is that this man asked her to marry him, Craig said.
Another aspect that makes this play so unique is that Craig, a former theater teacher at Pearl River Central High School, is working with three of her former students, Hepler, Howell and Palmer.
“It’s great because I’m pleased with how professional they are, how good they are, and how much they enjoy theater. I’m honored and pleased to be a part of that,” Craig said.
Directed by Donna Aguilard, and produced by special arrangements with Big Dog/Norman Maine Publishing, the play is sure to add some hilarity to the four-course meal served at the event, the release states.
Rounding out the production is Helen Little as stage manager, and Rhonda Butler for sound and music cues, the release states.
“Dinner theater, as a rule does better when they are comedies, things that people can simply enjoy,” Craig said.
Reservations are required. Tickets are available by calling 601-799-1714, or Hide-A-Way Lake residents can call 601-798-1474. Doors open at 6 p.m. on Saturday for a four-course dinner, followed by the show. On Sunday, doors will open at noon. Tickets are $33 per person.

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About Julia Arenstam

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