The Mid Ohio Valley Players are pleased to be back to full audience capacity this weekend with a hilarious British farce, “Charley’s Aunt” by Brandon Thomas. The play opens Friday, June 18 at 8:00 p.m. and runs for two weekends. Audiences will enjoy seeing both MOVP regulars and the return of folks who have not graced the Players Theatre stage for some time.
“I’m happy to be part of not only this production and a member of an eclectic and passionate cast and crew, but to bring to life a fun, affirmative and joyful romp that contains huge laughs and moments of pure entertainment,” said George Litman, who plays Stephen Spettigue. “For the time I’ve spent away from the MOVP stage, I’m glad I was able to come back for this play, in particular. More than ever, we need some laughter and fun in our lives. And with the return of live theater, “Charley’s Aunt” has given us what we all need, and more.”
Recent Marietta College graduate, Class of ’20, Madison Roe returns to MOVP after a lengthy hiatus to bring Kitty Verdun, the object of Jack Chesney’s affection, to life. “This has been a wonderful process and the perfect time for me to get back out on the stage. All of us in the cast have undoubtedly missed doing theatre, so this show has been a welcome addition to our schedules,” she said. “I hope you will enjoy watching the show as much we enjoyed creating it! Thank you so much for supporting your local community theatre and please join us for the fun!”
The farce revolves around romance and deception. Set in Victoria England, two Oxford students Charley Wykeham (Liam Kinnett) and Jack Chesney (Tim Tuten) recruit their wealthy playboy friend, Lord Fancourt Babberly, (R.J. Lowe), to impersonate Charley’s Brazilian aunt, Donna Lucia, to chaperone a double date the pair have planned. But unbeknownst to the trio, Jack’s father (George Faber) happens to be after Donna Lucia’s fortune, and the real Donna Lucia (Kathy Biery) has come to town incognito to check up on her nephew. Laughter ensues when the real aunt arrives while the elderly fortune hunter is already wooing the bogus aunt.
Kathy Biery is excited to be back on stage. “The theater is open for business! I am looking forward to seeing everyone we’ve missed for the past year at the theater to see this hilariously funny farce,” she said. “We hope you enjoy watching as much as we have enjoyed working on it.”
Directed by JR Wells and Susan Boyer, the three-act comedy unfolds and comes alive over the course of one day. Boyer explains, “We are incredibly lucky to have an experienced and talented comedic cast for Charley’s Aunt. The audience will love the energy and talent. Comic twists, misunderstandings, and mistaken identity are the hallmark of this happy farce. Come laugh with us.”
The play was first performed at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds in February 1892. It then opened in London at the Royalty Theatre on 21 December 1892 and quickly transferred to the larger Globe Theatre on 30 January 1893. The production broke the historic record for longest-running play worldwide, running for 1,466 performances. The play was also a success on Broadway in 1893, and in Paris, where it had further long runs. It toured internationally and has been revived continually and adapted for films and musicals.
The show runs June 18, 19, 25, and 26 at 8 p.m. and June 27 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available online anytime or at the Box Office located at 229 W. Putnam Street, Marietta, one hour prior to curtain. Cost is $12.00. Tickets are also available for a live stream performance on June 26.