Acting newcomer Bonnie Selzler invited her husband, twin sister, children, grandchildren and other extended family to watch her take the stage for the first time since the 1980s.
Only his family will not know which of the characters in the Grand Victorian Theater summer production, Selzler, will play.
“It’s a secret. No one will know it’s me. I invited my whole family but I didn’t tell them who my character was,” Selzler said. “I’ve been a housewife for 35 years, but I thought I was going to give it a try and I really like it It’s a lot of fun I’ve never done anything like this before and I really like my character I’m becoming someone else.
Selzler is one of the many new faces guests will see as part of “Madness, Murder & Matrimony -or- Have Some Madeira, M’Dear?” the comedic melodrama that the Myrtle Creek Theater will host for seven weekends throughout the summer. The play combines elements of a musical, romance and comedy for 14 shows, the highest number the theater has ever put on for a show since the Ogles bought it.
That’s because owners Joanne and Marcus Ogle want to try something a little different. This will be their first show since they lost almost everything two years ago. During this time, Marcus Ogle devoted himself to the study of managing not only a business, but also a restaurant.
“He did things a little differently this time. And kinda the same, “he said.” I spent a year doing concierge at the casino, then a year making drinks and slots there and now I’m a cook. short lived at Elmer’s I sampled everything we need to see how they did it in the professional world and bring it here.
They will put this knowledge to good use on Friday, the opening night of the play. The production follows hero Fielding Fletcher (Lucas Van Dermark), who is cold-eyed about his upcoming marriage to Simplicity Sunshine (Tamara Miranda).
It seems there is a history of insanity in his family, and Fielding fears he may go mad like his three aunts. While appearing rather grandmother, aunts have a secret. They open their house to elderly residents who seem to have a habit of mysteriously disappearing.
Finding out what happened to these residents does not help alleviate Fielding’s anxiety. Neither does his uncle, who is convinced he is General George Armstrong Custer.
If that’s not enough for the hero in distress, villainous Ruthless Snape has come to town and has every intention of stealing the Fletcher family jewels.
“This show is a classic melodrama with a lot of audience participation because we encourage you to boo the villain, cheer on the hero, say ‘awww’ to our heroine and have a great time watching this wacky comedy,” said said Joanne Ogle.
Because the production takes so long, some of the characters are played by more than one person. It’s been a struggle, most of the cast said, as they struggled to find and keep cast members.
Jeremy Trullinger will be the only one to play Ruthless Rogue. He didn’t bring any acting experience with him when he joined the cast, but after seeing a friend’s play with Umpqua Actors Community Theater last year, Trullinger wanted to give it a try. He describes Ruthless as a typical comedy villain similar to cartoon character Dick Dastardly.
On the contrary, Van Dermark has some stage experience under his belt. He has already performed at the Grand Victorian, as well as a few productions in high school. He finds Fielding both a difficult and relevant role. He describes him as gentle, kind and charismatic, but extremely anxious.
Miranda is the youngest member of the cast, approaching the role of Simplicity Sunshine at the age of 13. Like Trullinger and Selzler, this is her first play, but she is no stranger to the stage; her experience comes from singing at talent and variety shows.
“Simplicity is stupid and stupid, but it is stupidly sweet. And it’s really hard to do, ”said Miranda. “She’s sweet 100% of the time, but she’s a little dumb. She’s fun to play because it’s completely out of my personal character and it’s fun to discover new things like this.
“Madness, murder and marriage – or – to have from Madeira, to get me?” premieres Friday and Saturday, as well as July 2, 3, 16, 17, 23, 24 and August 6, 7, 20, 21, 27 and 28. All shows start at 6 p.m. Tickets for the dinner show are $ 45 per person, which includes a four-course dinner between acts.
The Ogles have also included a new $ 15 general admission option, which allows guests to see the show without dinner. Concessions and short-term food will be available for purchase for these guests. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit grandvictoriantheatre.com/events.
For COVID-19 reasons and because it facilitates interaction with the crowd, the capacity will be limited to 50 people per night.
On July 9 and 10, one of the few weekends without a show, the Grand Victorian will host a vendor fair. It will include a variety of indoor and outdoor vendors, a food truck, opportunities to shop the inventory of a local auction house, music and more.
“We’ll be going all summer,” Selzler said. “And I really hope Mark and Joanne are successful because they’re lovely people and they deserve it.”
Erica Welch is the Special Sections Editor of The News-Review. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 541-957-4218.