‘Dirty Deeds’ equals zany fun
Appeal Staff Writer
The Misfits Theater Troupe is at it again at the Odeon Hall in Old Town Dayton.
Dayton’s premier performance troupe expects to have audience members cheering, booing, hissing and singing along with the performers this weekend in their latest play, “Dirty Deeds Don’t Do, or Dayton Diggins Again,” where heroes and villains match wits and lines in a good-versus-evil melodrama.
The villain, Bunco DeSneer, played by Mark McGuyver, is now the proud owner of the town of Dayton Diggins and he’s out to get rich.
He and his fellow shyster, Flora Fourflusher, the town’s assayer, are working a scam with the Easymoney Mine, salting the mine with real ore and getting greenhorns to invest in stocks.
DeSneer, at whom the audiences boos and hisses, prompted by signs from the stage, purchased it from Henrietta Steindrinker of the Gopher Ranch.
However, he gets a shock when it is discovered that Steindrinker sold him a town she didn’t own – turns out, she was just renting.
DeSneer and Fourflusher become stymied in their efforts to pursue ill-gotten gains when it is announced that an owl-loving innocent, Verlinda Springbottom, is the real owner of the town of Dayton Diggins. With the help of hero Monty Mountainman, Springbottom plans to close the mine and turn the area into a sanctuary for great horned owls, and DeSneer is determined to stop her.
How that effort turns out is the source of much hilarity. The show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday, and March 24-25 in the upstairs ballroom at Mia’s Restaurant in the Odeon Hall.
“Our goal is to have fun, not just see a drama,” said director and writer Tony Thornburg. “I think it’s pretty funny. We do it for laughs and fun.”
Thornburg has directed about eight plays with the Misfits, named after the Marilyn Monroe movie filmed in Dayton in the 1950s. He called “Dirty Deeds Don’t Do” a sequel to the last play, “The Ballad of Dayton Diggins or Dexter Done Wrong,” performed last November at the Odeon Hall.
“It’s like a sequel to the last one we did,” he said. “It’s very appropriate for the area, it’s about salting the mine and phony stocks. It is no more serious than any of the others.”
Chris Kristian of Dayton, who plays the hero Mountainman said of his character: “He’s an all-around good guy who comes down from the mountain and beats up the bad guys. That’s the way the men of the wilderness worked.” Kristian acted in all but one of the Misfits’ plays.
The cast is full of mostly Dayton residents who have performed in many of the troupe’s past plays. Only Melanie Snider, a Yerington native now living in Dayton who plays the heroine Springbottom, is a first-timer.
Hovering around the main plot is a supporting cast of rather unusual characters.
There’s Otillie Abercrombie, the 11-year-old daughter of a judge who is a little too worldly for her age. Dayton Intermediate School student Kiersten Smithson Kinkel plays Otillie.
“She thinks she’s 17, but she’s really 11 and she is in love with Bunco DeSneer,” said Kinkel.
Crazy Cora, played by Rae Logan, is an unfortunate who once left her baby under the cool space of an ice wagon to run into a store for milk. The child was gone when Cora returned, and her sanity went with it.
“I didn’t have to act for this,” Logan said. “My husband said to act, I should be cast opposite of Cora.”
And then there’s Aunt Emma, played by Carol Bauer, who is more interested in physical relief than mine stocks.
“I’m a cranky old lady who’s got to pee,” she said. “And if I don’t find a privy soon, I’ll get really cranky.”
If those aren’t zany enough, there’s a gecko, played by Mary Wilson, performing in a takeoff of a certain ubiquitous television commercial.
“I see the gecko as a very art deco gecko,” she said. “I want to add a little spice to the play. At first I was very upset with the part. Then, when I developed it, I liked it.”
All this wackiness comes with music, with Johnny Cash songs offered by the Troubadour, played by Smokey Vanness. Ragtime and other offerings are by pianist Richard Sowers of Carson City, known in the show as Spaghetti Fingers.
Between the music and the wild antics, Dayton will be alive with fun for the next two weekends. And Dayton is not alone, since the Misfits will also perform “Dirty Deeds Don’t Do” in Minden for two shows March 31 and April 1.
— Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee
882-2111 ext. 351.
If you go
WHAT: “Dirty Deeds Don’t Do, or Dayton Diggins Again”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today and
Saturday and March 24-25
WHERE: Upstairs ballroom at Mia’s Restaurant in the Odeon Hall, 65 Pike St., Dayton