PHIL IN THE BLANK: Back to the theater

The Clarkston Village Players’ winter production of “House on the Cliff” continues this weekend, with evening shows Friday and Saturday and a matinee on Sunday.
I caught the show on members’ night last Wednesday. Excellent work by the cast on this comic murder mystery.
Elizabeth Rager does excellent work as Nurse Pepper, whose interest in detective novels comes in handy when she takes a job caring for Bethany Roberts’ Ellen Clayton, with the help of Jim Hoxsey’s Dr. Layne, Linda Leath’s Karen, Melissa Breckenridge’s Jenny, and Michael Bell as Dr. Corey Phillips, most of whom have secrets and aren’t quite as they appear.
Good special effects, too, since dark and stormy nights are required for these types of stories.
I’d like to see more shows featuring the intrepid, mystery solving Nurse Pepper, if any had been written. She could go from assignment to assignment, solving murders as she goes. As long as the victims aren’t her patients. She probably wouldn’t get hired that much if they were.
I’ll be taking my turn on stage in the spring, in CVP’s comedy production of “Self Help.” I’ve been cast as Jeremy Cash, an overly inquisitive newspaper columnist, snooping around the home of a couple self-help gurus.
Jeremy is a bit more melodramatic than I am, carrying around a microcassette recorder and speaking dramatically into it. I haven’t carried one of those things around in years.
I auditioned for the lead role of Hal Savage, one of the self-helpers, but it went to Steve Sanger. Steve’s wife Sara Sanger snagged the other lead role, Cindy Savage, Hal’s wife, so it’s for the best.
Hal and Cindy’s lines are on just about every page of the script, so it would have been hard for me to learn. I don’t know how they do it.
Rehearsals start on March 20, after House wraps, at which time I’ll probably be asking how I got myself into this again.
It’ll be my third show with Clarkston Village Players, as well as ever, since I only developed an interest in the theater last year.
They’ve all been comedies so far, though this upcoming one has some juicy scenes to work with.

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