Have you caught a spirited performance of The Spitfire Grill at Broad Brook Opera House yet? This weekend is the perfect time to catch authentic community theater tackle this character-driven musical.
In a review in Pointaplace, Richard DiMaggio writes that the Opera House players "deserves accolades for taking a chance on a musical you will enjoy," with "five star" singing, especially from leads Kate Suppes and Anne Collin.
Suppes plays Percy Talbott, the spirited parolee who winds up in small-town Wisconsin. Despite the town's reluctance to embrace a convicted felon and stranger, Percy finds employment and a place to stay at The Spitfire Grill, which is for sale in a financially struggling town. With no prospective buyer, Percy suggest owner Hannah raffle off the place, with the best essay writer winning the grill. Meanwhile Percy and Shelby Thorpe, played by Collin, cheerfully man the grill when its owner, Hannah, hurts her hip.
The Spitfire Grill was on Broadway when all New York theatre shut down for a week following the tragic events of 9/11, according to OnStage. It quickly made its way to Off Broadway with its sometimes darker subject matter, especially as Percy reveals the details of her rough past.
OnStage writes that the musical shines with "very pretty music, a generous helping of laughs, and more than a few hidden dark corners," with the Opera House Players skillfully "bringing these familiar-feeling characters vividly to life for us."
There is great attention paid to the gritty simplicity to the set, spot-on costuming and excellent performances by Suppes, Collin, according to OnStage, which praises Patrique Alton Hurd as Hannah Ferguson for how she "truly inhabits the physical space, handles her musical selections with the pipes of a pro, lands all of her grumpily sarcastic jokes perfectly, while simultaneously revealing inner heartbreak with a there-you-have-it honesty."
Come relish the excellent music, laugh at the comedic moments and immerse yourself into the richly developed characters of The Spitfire Grill.
The Opera House Players’ production of The Spitfire Grill continues its run Sept. 12 and 13, as well as 19 and 20 at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. showings on Sunday, Sept.14 and 21.
Tickets are $21, for adults, and $17, for audience members under age 12 or over 60. Purchase tickets online a twww.operahouseplayers.org or by calling the box office at 860-292-6068.
The Broad Brook Opera House is located at 107 Main Street in Broad Brook.
(Photo courtesy of The Opera House Players)