There will be plenty of hisses and boos, cheers and laughter as The Lafayette Hotel and Mid-Ohio Valley Players team up to present on old-fashioned melodrama entitled, "The Bilking of Lord Bilgeworthy."
The dinner and show will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Lafayette Hotel.
The actors will present the story of the villainous Lord Bilgeworthy and his equally unsavory son, Phineas, as they try their best to "sweet talk and scheme" the wealthy Lady Emily Farnsworth and her daughter, Mary, "using any despicable means at their disposal."
Photo courtesy of Jena Blair
Cast members from the Mid-Oho Valley Players’ producton of “The Bilking of Lord Bilgeworthy.” left to right, are Suzanne Walker (Lady Farnsworth), Dick Roe (Lord Bilgeworthy), and Ray Ryan (Phineas Bilgeworthy).
The cast is full of MOVP veterans. Bilgeworthy and Phineas are played by Dick Roe and Ray Ryan; Emily and Mary are played by Suzanne Walker and Meaghan Hahn. Of course no good melodrama would be complete without a villainess and heroes. Sandia Sommer, George Litman, David Scheimann, Jeff Walker and Amanda Haney-Cech round out the cast.
The show's director, Jena Blair, commented that this is something that has been missing in Marietta for a while.
"So many people have been asking about whether or not we were going to do a melodrama and this just kind of happened," Blair said.
If you go
What: The Lafayette Hotel and Mid-Ohio Valley Players present an Old Fashioned Melodrama, dinner and show.
Where: The Gun Room restaurant at the Lafayette Hotel.
When: Friday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $35 per person, reservations required. Tickets can be purchased at the front desk of the Lafayette or by calling 373-5522.
Melodrama plays were a popular tourist draw to the Becky Thatcher showboat prior to it being towed out of town in 2009. The sternwheeler was brought to Marietta in 1975 and eventually sank near Neville Island in Pittsburgh.
Audience interaction is a big part of a melodrama and Hahn said she hopes that everyone in attendance will scream and yell and throw popcorn, as is tradition.
"I'm not sure what to expect," she said. "But I hope that they won't be afraid to participate."
The run time of the show, according to Hahn, is about 45 minutes and dinner and dessert will be served between acts. During intermission, traditional "olio" jokes will be performed by the cast.
Sheila Rhodes, general manager of the Lafayette, said the new addition of a stage to the Gun Room will make it possible for more events of this type to happen.
"We wanted a stage where we could do events like this or have a band.
"We really thought melodramas would be a good fit," she said. "We have been getting calls from out of town since (the Becky Thatcher) has been gone and this is our first time working with MOVP but we do hope it is something we can continue."
Blair said the cast has worked really hard to put the show together and Hahn added that it has been a fun experience working with the cast and the director.
"We all know each other and we've all worked with each other at some point," she said. "I just think it'll be really fun."