Spring Lake Park High presents side-splitting ‘Charley’s Aunt’

Laughs abound in Spring Lake Park High School’s upcoming classic comedy “Charley’s Aunt.”

Amy Spettigue (Madisen Dempsey), Lord Fancourt Babberley (Luke Remme) and Kitty Verdun (Casey Meile) spice up an already hilarious script in Spring Lake Park High School’s “Charley’s Aunt.” Photo courtesy of Vicki Burns

Amy Spettigue (Madisen Dempsey), Lord Fancourt Babberley (Luke Remme) and Kitty Verdun (Casey Meile) spice up an already hilarious script in Spring Lake Park High School’s “Charley’s Aunt.” Photo courtesy of Vicki Burns

The production opens Nov. 2 and runs through Nov. 10.

“This show is going to be hysterical,” said Director Kevin Dutcher, back after directing last year’s show “The Crucible.”

“I was falling out of my chair yesterday (at rehearsal). It’s very funny.”

Ten students are in the cast, with student Luke Remme playing the elderly Brazilian millionaire widow Donna Lucia d’Alvadoraz – in wig, female dress, the whole nine yards.

The British farce penned by Brandon Thomas is filled with hi jinx and mistaken identities when two gentlemen start wooing d’Alvadoraz.

“Charley’s Aunt” is set at a university in England in 1892.

Jack and Charley are both in love. They invite their girlfriends to meet Charley’s millionaire aunt Donna Lucia from Brazil (whom he has never met) “where the nuts come from.” But she cancels at the last minute, sending the boys into cataclysmic confusion. What to do? They decide to dress one of their buddies in a black satin skirt, bloomers and wig, what evolves into a rather frumpy version of Charley’s aunt.

The laughs keep coming when Charley’s real aunt shows up.

Dutcher credits SLP High School with its many talented students vested in the theater program.

“They really put their hearts and souls in this,” he said.

A part-time K-6 music teacher in the St. Paul School District, Dutcher is in his 24th year of directing shows at Fridley’s middle and high schools. He has acted in such venues a Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, the Minnesota Jewish Theatre and Actors Theater of Minnesota.

During the holiday season, he can be found performing as elf Albert in Bachman’s Floral, Gift and Garden’s annual “Santa and Albert Show.” This year marks Dutcher’s 19th year of playing the role.

Dutcher promises the SLPHS show will deliver many laughs to the audience.

“Charley’s Aunt” broke records when it was first performed in London in 1892. It had a successful run on the Broadway stage and was adapted for film and musicals. It continues to be revived and performed.

“It’s side-splitting funny,” Dutcher said. “It’s a delightful family comedy. Kids will enjoy it as much as grown ups … . It’s just a delightful, wonderful, warm, silly evening of theater.”

Spring Lake Park High School presents “Charley’s Aunt,” Nov. 2, 9, 10 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. Adults $10, seniors $8, students $5. High School Fine Arts Center, 1100 81 Ave. N.E., Spring Lake Park. Tickets available at door or at www.springlakeparkschools.org. For more information, call 763-786-5571.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com

 


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