‘Kitchen Witches’ opens Friday at BeckwithPublished 8:05am Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Beckwith Theatre’s season is sure to end with laughter as four area performers deliver the last show of the season.
The small cast has been rehearsing for an equally short amount of time for Caroline Smith’s “Kitchen Witches,” directed by Karen Pugh and her husband Paul.
“This is a cable access studio, and there are two competing cooking show hostesses. Wendy Elsey plays Dollie Biddle, but she starts the program as a Ukrainian cook. Isabelle Lomax, who is her foe and is another cook, interrupts her show and says ‘you’ve badmouthed me for the last time,’ and it goes on,” said Karen Pugh.
Pugh said the cast has only been practicing for three weeks, but she’s impressed with how well they’ve done.
“They’ve been a wonderful cast. They work hard, they know their stuff, and they show up on time. They’re dependable, all the good stuff you want in people you have to work with,” she said.
Wendy Elsey begins the show by playing a Ukrainian cook under the alias of “Babke” but continues the show as Dolly Biddle. Her foe, Isobel “Izzy” Lomax, a competing cable network cook, is played by Maryann Bengtsson. James Huffman of Niles plays Stephen Biddle, son of Dolly, and also producer and manager of the cooking show. Kirstin Novak plays Roberta the Camera Girl, who takes care of the cooking show when Stephen is unavailable and encourages the audience to applaud or laugh when told to do so with explanatory signs.
“The show we hope will have a lot of audience participation,” Pugh said. “We want people to applaud and respond, much like if they would if it were actually a real TV studio.”
Pugh said “Kitchen Witches” is the last show of the year at Beckwith Theatre. She said performances usually begin again in March.
The cast of “Kitchen Witches” will perform a total of seven performances, three for regular audiences and one for Dowagiac’s Junior Arts Club. Shows will be performed Nov. 1-3 and 8-10. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday performances begin at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students under 18.