By Germaine Hupe
Special to the Express
The Winters Theatre Company will welcome the new season with the “Spring Fling,” an evening of comedy, drama and music on Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m. The production will be held in the historic Winters Opera House and will feature five original short plays interspersed with musical selections performed by the Yolo Ramblers. The plays cover a wide range of plots including dramatic monologue, classical parody, and hilarious comedy.
The first selection, Hamlet Investigations, Inc. by Ellen Abrams imagines a situation in which Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, operates a detective agency using skills he learned in solving his father’s “murder most fowl.” His client is a modern American woman who wishes to learn the activities of her obviously cheating finance. The combination of 17th Century speech and 21st Century dialogue will delight both fans of William Shakespeare and modern detective fiction.
“Dark Matter,” by Donald Lofters, is a play which begins with happy cocktail chatter between a loving married couple, but slowly their chatter turns into something quite different. The audience will begin to wonder why Marion and Palmer are working so hard at being cheerful. Are they hiding a sinister secret or merely playing at being melodramatic? The play’s surprise ending will solve the riddle.
The office of Galveston high school principal Ms. Strickler is the setting for the hilarious comedy, “Tailwind” by Kelly Morgan-Lallo. The mothers of two trouble-making boys have been called to the school to determine how to punish the teen-agers. Although the boys are close friends, their mothers are very different and harbor a mutual dislike.
Mrs. Erica Mathews is street-smart. She “tells it like it is,” or rather how she thinks it is. Joanna Phillips, the other mother, is very conservative, deeply religious, and desperate to be seen as a dedicated Christian.
The school officials have reached the end of their tolerance after the boys’ recent prank. The women must work together to find an ending to their sons’ behavior short of expulsion. The dialogue among the women, the erudite principal, the aggressive Erica and the devout Joanna provides many laughs as the characters struggle to deal with their prejudices and reach a solution acceptable to all.
“Jorge Hosts Chanukah” a play by Jonathan Josephson, provides both laughter and tears as the plot reveals Jorge, a Mexican-American, who is a recent convert to Judaism. In his new status, Jorge must both please his Jewish wife Hannah, and appease his father Mr. Salas. The resolution of the two cultural traditions provide challenges to father and son, while at the same time reveal the common humanity which these two cultures share.
“Slow Dating” by Adam Szudrich, introduces us to Ester, a charming, witty, 70-something woman who has been happily married for 52 years. She attends an event called “Speed Dating for Seniors.” As she chats with the audience, Ester shares her hilarious observations of the aging Romeos whom she meets and rejects as would-be dating partners.
Ester’s mood changes when a sophisticated, man-about-town, Leon, sits down at her table. There is instant mutual attraction. Ester is tempted to pursue her interest in Leon further, but her love for her husband interferes with her desires.
Each original work is accompanied by musical selections which contribute to the theme of the play.
Come celebrate Spring with WTC. They are delighted to be back after their long hiatus from the live stage. For reservations go to www.winterstheatre.org or call 530-795-4014 for more information. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and a limited number of tickets will be available at the door.