PHIL IN THE BLANK: Hotel hijinks

I’ve had a promotion of sorts, not at work where I’m still the editor, but at Clarkston Village Players.
Not that I’ve received a lead role or anything, though the parts I’ve been getting are plenty. I run my lines in my head when I run and they’re enough to keep me occupied for almost a couple miles.
I’ve been with the community theater group for three years now, and in my second show with them I played the hotel bellboy in the comedy “Lend Me a Tenor.”
But in the upcoming May production of “Out of Order,” I’m playing the hotel manager.
I kind of miss the happy-go-lucky days as the bellboy, when I could smart off to the lead actors (usually in character).
Now I’m the guy trying to keep order in the hotel room in which the play is set. I’ve not very good at it, hence the title.
My fellow castmates are excellent, though, with experience ranging from decades on stage and screen to just a few years like me.
Lead actor Brian Taylor, who is on the lots-of-experience side, is performing the role of Junior Minister Richard Willey, alongside his wife, Carol Taylor, who is also playing his wife in the show. Unfortunately, Dickie is ducking his wife to spend a naughty evening with Jane Worthington, played by newcomer Abi Preston.
Abi has been game for whatever director Sara Sanger and the stage directions ask of her, which includes running around in her underwear part of the time.
She’s not the only one to do that in this British comedy farce, though. Carol does also, as does Eric Easterday’s character Ronnie, sort of, Rachel Sanker’s Gladys, and my own manager character gets in the act, regrettably.
There’s some impressive work also going on backstage, too, creating a functional if rather dangerous hotel room.
Our English accents are sounding pretty good to my American midwest ear (the one that works). We’ve all been working hard on them, except for Steve Sanger, who has one by birth.
I’ve learned where Felixstowe and Lewisham are in relation to London. Felixstowe is farther away. Also, a new word – “ablutions.” It means “washing yourself,” as in hygiene.
The show opens on May 3.

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