High jinks, gizmos and singing spies
Appeal Staff Writer
It’s a tale of intrigue, espionage and Nazi spies – set to music.
The seventh play by the Misfits Theatre Group of Dayton opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Legado Club House.
The show, titled “High Jinks on the Home Front or Who Gets the Gizmo,” is a melodrama-style musical that takes place in the 1940s. It was written by Tony Thornburg, who also directs the show.
“I love to see the things I write come to life. I like working with people who haven’t acted before because they blossom out before your eyes,” Thornburg said.
The show revolves around the war hero, Jeremy Trueblue, who has struck upon an idea for a gizmo that will win the war for the allies, but there’s a problem – he’s in love.
Besides his affection for a cabaret girl, Trueblue, played by Mark McGyver, is being tailed by Mata Hurry, played by Erin Copp, and her henchman Adolph Snickerbroder, played by Dan Rice, who want to steal the gizmo for the Fatherland.
“Our whole purpose is to have some fun,” Thornburg said. “I wanted to do something about the ’40s and what stuck out was World War II. I wasn’t about to do something at the front, so I’d have to set it in this area.”
Trueblue is forced to foil the plot with the help of agents from the Alien Sabotage Surveillance (or A.S.S.) while winning his love, Melissa Meadowlark, played by Gail Gunderson.
The play includes several pointed jabs at popular culture, including Geiko insurance and the current target, Verizon Wireless.
“We include a lot of inside jokes for the cast and our regular viewers. We always pick on some commercial outfit,” Thornburg said.
Once the play completes its run, Thornburg will return to writing, looking to have the next play ready in about three months.
“Melodramas are really alike. There’s a problem, a dastardly villain wanting something from the hero and a dilemma,” Thornburg said. “For the next one, I’d like to do something set at the turn of the century and I’m working on a modern spoof of the oil companies and the lobbyists.”
The play is dedicated to 13-year-old Jeremy Woolman, the youngest member of the group. Woolman died earlier this year.
“Jeremy was in ‘The Unspeakables’ and we thought that it was only right to dedicate this play to him,” Thornburg said.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at email@example.com or 881-1217.
If you go
What: “High Jinks on the Home Front or Who Gets the Gizmo” presented by the Misfits Theatre Group
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Nov. 17-18.
Where: Legado Club House on Friday and Saturday, Dayton Community Center on Nov. 17-18.
Cost: $20 for adults and $15 for children at Legado including Hors d’oeuvres; $10 for all seats at the Dayton Community Center.
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