Misfits are back at Mia’s
November 8, 2005
The Misfits have returned to Mia’s, performing a new play in the ballroom of the Odeon Hall in Old Town Dayton for the next two weekends.
“The Ballad of Dayton Diggins, or Dexter Done Wrong,” is the fifth play by the troupe, whose members thought they would have to find a new venue when Mia’s Restaurant closed in June.
“The restaurant is closed, but Mia (Kuerzi) is still letting us use the ballroom upstairs,” said Kay Thornburg, whose husband, Tony, is the director and co-writer of this play.
“We’ve done all the shows in Odeon Hall,” Tony Thornburg said. “We’re hoping that whoever buys the building keeps the theater going, otherwise we will have to find a new home.”
The play is a classic melodrama, complete with “Boo,” “Hiss,” “Yea” and other cards being held up for the audience by card girl Kiersten Smithson Kinkel of Dayton, a student at Dayton Intermediate School.
In the show, Dexter DeVille, played by Mark “MacGyver” Grzebyk, an assayer in the late 1800s town of Dayton Diggins, plots to steal gold inherited by the proper Winnemucca sisters, Marsha and Hortensia Wimple, played by Jan Duke and Carol Bauer.
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The sisters come to claim the diggings worked by their late father while DeVille plots to switch their bags of gold with bags of iron pyrite, or fool’s gold. But if he’s not careful, he could become the fool.
Dexter is frustrated in his plan, first by his assistant, Billie Jean Butts, played by Karen Brinkoetter, who is not the brightest nugget in the pan and is always misconstruing his instructions. Then he must deal with Jon Doe, played by Dan Rice, who is undersecretary of the Interstate Department Investigations of Technical Systems, or IDIOTS. It’s his job to see to the well-being of the miners.
Dexter and Doe pursue their disparate objectives surrounded by a number of eccentric characters, each with his or her own agenda.
Grzebyk said he enjoys playing the heavy. “I always like playing the bad guy,” he said. “Maybe its because of my natural character.”
Grzebyk who also works for United Parcel Service, has a long history as a part-time actor. He is in an upcoming movie called “Insatiable,” and has done TV commercials, shows for the History and Discovery channels and is a member of the Nevada Casting Association. This is his fifth production with the Misfits.
Kay Thornburg admitted the troupe’s name comes from the 1961 movie “The Misfits,” starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift, which was filmed in Dayton.
“Especially since it was filmed right downstairs here.” she said, explaining that the Odeon Hall was the site of the famous scene where Marilyn Monroe’s character played paddleball.
While the actors don’t have the name recognition of those stars, they have put on four other original plays in this hall since the troupe’s beginning in spring of 2004, including “The Love Child,” “The Unspeakables,” “The Red Lamp” and “The Class Reunion,” according to founding member Bauer.
She said that even though the bar and restaurant downstairs are closed, the bar upstairs will be open during intermission and after the show.
Gail Gundersen, the only Stagecoach resident in a troupe full of Daytonites, plays Lucretia Lonelyeyes, who has both a business connection with Dexter and designs on Doe, is also a founding member. Though she did some acting 30 years ago, she said, working with the Misfits has been a lot of fun.
“This one is so funny,” she said. “I’m two characters in this and I love my funny little roles.”
n Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.
If you go
WHAT: Misfits Theater Troupe performs “The Ballad of Dayton Diggins, or Dexter Done Wrong”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Nov. 18 and 19. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
WHERE: Upstairs Ballroom at Mia’s Restaurant, 65 Pike St., Dayton
CALL: (775) 246-9622