Night on the town

Published 10:16 am Monday, July 21, 2014

The Franklinton Community Theatre is gearing up for its next production, “Saturday Night at Old Smokey,” a dramatic comedy to be presented as a dinner theater.

It will be staged at the 1010 Club in Franklinton Aug. 1 and 2 and Aug. 8 and 9.

The cast and crew have been holding rehearsals several nights each week in preparation, practicing their lines and working out all the elements of the play.

Written by Ron Osborne, the play is a dramatic comedy with music. It features gospel and country songs with familiar melodies.

Some of the words may be changed, but attendees will know the tunes, according to producer and Community Theatre President Rod Sabiston.

Director Barbara Chitwood said the modern-day play is set in the hills of Tennessee and centers around repairing and reopening the Old Smokey country store in anticipation of character Teddy’s return from Afghanistan.

Family matriarch Emma is being portrayed by Verna Haik. A Bogalusa resident, she was an active member of the Milltown Players for many years.

This is her first time performing with the Franklinton group, and she said it has been a good experience.

“I think it’s a lot of fun. I’ve made a lot of new friends,” she said.

Also in the cast are Robin Perez as Cordelia; Liz King as Olive; Michaela Statham as Tammy; Theron Graves as Howard; and Debbie McNeese as Jinks.

Sabiston said their work in the play has been “fantastic.”

King’s character, Olive, is a friend of Emma’s who “considers herself the queen of the South.”

The Franklinton Community Theatre veteran praised the sound effects work of Jim Stringfield and said caterer Mike’s Restaurant will provide a great meal for attendees.

“Everybody come on out. Get ready to have a good time,” King said.

Sabiston also encouraged all to attend.

“Don’t miss this show. You will miss the drama, the comedy, the music, the mystery — all the things that make a production successful are in this play.”

Tickets, which cost $30 and include dinner and the show, and are available at Leader Printing and Magee Feed, Farmer & the Dell, in Franklinton and the Golden Pear restaurant in Bogalusa.

Parties of four or more require reservation.

For more information, call 848-5845.