- Last Updated on 08:05 AM 01/21/13
- BY By Becky Donner/Special to The Gazette
Rehearsals are well under way for Halifax County Little Theatre’s winter comedy “Elvis Has Left the Building.”
Opening in mid-February, the comedy is based on a real event that happened in 1970 when Elvis disappeared for a few days, and no one knew where he was. Playwrights Virginia Cate and Duke Ernsberger have created a comic interpretation of how the disappearance may have affected those around him.
Director Becky Donner has assembled a cast with much experience in comedy, and they are gearing up to delight audiences with what happened to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Cyndi Overby has taken on the role of stage manager and is keeping track of everyone’s movements and making lists and checking them twice. Melissa Peacock is producing the show and making sure all the production jobs are moving along as needed.
Heading up the cast is Greg Donner as “The Colonel,” Elvis’s manager Tom Parker. This wheeler-dealer is most desperate to find his “cash cow,” as his living depends on promoting Elvis. And the Colonel has his own personal problem that can only be solved by locating the King. But Elvis is not answering the Colonel’s phone calls.
Linda Shepperd will portray Trudy, the Colonel’s German secretary. Trudy is a no-nonsense type who understands her boss and runs his office with an iron fist. Shepperd’s acting gift is definitely comedy, and she knows how to create memorable characters. Her Trudy will clearly entertain audiences. If local people find Shepperd muttering German phrases around town, they will understand why.
The Colonel surrounds himself with “yes” men, and one of those is the office lackey Roscoe, played to perfection by Jonny Berry. Roscoe just wants to please everyone and thinks that Elvis is the most important American ever, so when the Colonel asks Roscoe’s help in locating Elvis, Roscoe is quick to assist. Audiences won’t want to miss Berry’s creation of this memorable quirky character. What Roscoe is willing to do to help Elvis out will leave the audience laughing until tears roll.
The Colonel’s other friend is Candy, a man he trusts to help him find Elvis. Kenny Carr will play Candy, a guy the Colonel helped out earlier in his life and who now owes the Colonel a favor. Candy gets trapped into helping the Colonel out also, and the interaction of Candy and Roscoe turn the comedy into high action.
Adding a little intrigue to the plot is the snooping reporter Jill Tanner, who is trying to find a good story for her paper, and she senses something is happening concerning Elvis that she wants to track down. Jill Tanner, described by the Colonel as “The Mouth of Memphis,” will be brought to life by Erin Thackston.
The Colonel wants to hide the fact that he doesn’t know where the King is, and Tanner wants to get the scoop she senses is happening around the Colonel’s office. Thackston brings the intensity needed to the hard-driving reporter.
Elvis might have “left the building,” but patrons won’t leave without a little Elvis, rest assured.
Where is Elvis, and what will the Colonel do to create one? Plan to purchase a ticket early to find out as this show promises to be a big hit. The comedy runs Friday and Saturday evenings, Feb. 15 and 16 at 7:30, and Sunday afternoon at 3. The show then continues the next weekend on Thursday through Saturday nights at 7:30.
Tickets are on sale now at The Prizery or by calling 572-8339 or by going to www.hclt.org. Get a group together and come out for a winter’s night of fun.