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Release date: December 12, 2006

Wayland director, actors to present dinner theatre at Country Club

PLAINVIEW – A dinner theatre production reminiscent of the old-time variety shows will provide a special opportunity for Plainview residents to enjoy the holiday season.

              “Charlie Hoffman’s Vintage Christmas Variety Show” will be presented on Thursday, Dec. 14 at the Plainview Country Club Civic Center, with a meal served beforehand and the show to follow. The event begins at 6 p.m.

              The show is serving double duty for some Wayland Baptist University students, who are directing and performing in the production. Rita Pitts, a junior theatre major from Plainview, is directing the show, a role which counts toward her senior theatre practicum as well. Lisa Angel, a senior from Wylie, is assistant director.

              A departure from the normal WBU theatre productions, this show features short skits and songs with many familiar pieces.

              “This is kind of like the Dean Martin-Frank Sinatra variety shows they used to do years ago,” explained Pitts. “It includes skits like Abbott and Costello’s ‘Who’s on First,’ ‘Vitameatavegamin’ and Monty Python’s ‘Argument Clinic.’”

              Pitts compiled the production herself, pulling some classic skits and others and writing the introductory portions for the show’s “host” Charlie Hoffman, played by WBU sophomore Thomas Hoffman. She enlisted Wayland student actors Grant Jasper, Mary Feril and Tim Fisher, all senior theatre veterans, and freshman Rachel Morgan to act in the show. Morgan will also sing a few numbers in the production, following the true variety show format.

              Pitts said when approached to help with the production by entertainment coordinator Kim Street, she felt the variety show format would be a bit easier and more enjoyable for guests than a full-blown, full-length play. That didn’t quite hold true.

              “We still had to design a set, design costumes, write parts for the host and put everything in order, so it’s been a lot of work,” Pitts said, adding that the change in venue gave the production a whole new feel. “We’re entertaining the general public here, so it’s a little more intimidating than the Wayland stage.”

              Pitts said the show, for which she and the cast began working in September, will last around an hour.

              Tickets to the dinner theatre are $35 and the show is open to the public. Reservations can be made by calling the Plainview Country Club at 293-2445.