Apropos for an election year, the Misfit Theater Troupe is putting on a political melodrama for their spring production, complete with crooks, good guys and hapless victims.
"To Drill or Not to Drill, Or Big Bucks Don't Always Win" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Saturday and April 25-26 in the historic Odeon Hall, upstairs at Chuck's Old West Grill at 65 Pike St. in Dayton.
The play, directed by Karen Brinkoetter, presents a crooked lobbyist, Irma Megabucks, played by Carol Bauer; and Texas Sen. Bragbart, played by Mark McGyver, who are conspiring to get permission for Universal Grade Low Yield Oil - or UGLY Oil - to drill on land owned by the Saganantua Indian Reservation in eastern Nevada.
McGyver said he was happier playing bad guys.
"I like that I'm always the villain," he said. "It's more fun being the villain. The role of nice guy doesn't suit me."
Several amusing acronyms besides the oil company are present in this play, for example, the Federal Agencies Regulating Territories (FART), which regulates the agreements with the Indians.
Dan Rice plays the bureaucrat Secretary Wilkins, who is taken in by Megabucks' charm, and bucks, and works against the interests of the tribe and tries to trick the lovely Indian Princess Shining Antelope, played by Melanie Snider, into giving permission to drill without getting the profits.
Fighting for the tribe is the hero from Nevada, Sen. Goodguy, played by Eddie Hult, who tries to ensure that truth, justice and the American way prevail.
Others in the cast for the melodrama are the Card Girl, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, Erin Copp; Jan Duke as Deputy Director Fairminded, Harriet Pfrenzinger as Undersecretary Adelbrane; and Shining Antelope's companion, Squatting Coyote, played by Nikki Wiencek.
The play, written by Tony Thornburg, is the 11th melodrama put on by the Misfits. The group has put on 47 performances as it celebrates its fourth anniversary.
It is also Brinkoetter's first stab at directing.
"Everyone is working really hard, and I make sit much easier for a first-time director," she said. "The key is teamwork."
After the run at the Odeon Hall, the Misfits are planning on taking the play to Piper's Opera House later in the summer.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-7351.
If You Go
WHAT: Misfits Theater Troupe's production of the melodrama, "To Drill or Not to Drill, Or Big Bucks Don't Always Win"
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday; April 25-26
WHERE: Upstairs at the Odeon Hall, Chuck's Old West Grill, 65 Pike St., Dayton