© Austin M. Davis
Bunny Polk (left, played by Debbie Burgher) prevents her husband Harry (played by John Burgher) from kicking senior citizen Maynard Crock (played by Cory Knops) out of their newly bought house in the play Medium Rare at the Cosmo Senior Citizen's Centre on Thursday night.
at the Cosmo Senior Citizens Centre. Thursday night’s dessert theatre was opening night — and a first for the group.
“This is the first time that we’ve hosted a dessert theatre,” Debbie Burgher said before the show began.
Burgher and her husband John play Bunny and Harry Polk, respectively, in Medium Rare.
There will be dinner theatre performances on Friday and Saturday nights.
On Thursday night, the actors were in full-costume interacting with the audience members as they came through the doors. As Burgher and Gish spoke to the Times-Herald, Burgher told Gish she could break character and stop hunching over.
“Harry and Bunny Polk have purchased their very first home and they’re very excited about it, but there are these funny noises coming from somewhere,” Burgher said about the play’s plot. “It turns out that it’s Nina Smeltenmelter, the grandmother of the previous owners. They moved out and they told her she could say. We say she can’t.”
Other than a sore back, Gish said memorizing lines was the most difficult part of her role.
“I’m very much like my character, I forget things too easily,” Gish said.
She said that her fellow members of the MJCP were welcoming and encouraging.
“I’ve been having a blast,” Gish said. “They got me involved a couple of years ago and I’ve got the bug. I’m kind of hooked.”
Rehearsals started around the second week of September.
“You can rehearse and rehearse,” Burgher said, “but when you have an audience, that’s when the juice really get flowing.”
Burgher and Gish acknowledged it’s a little difficult preparing for a comedy without having an audience to laugh.
“Though sometimes we make up for it,” Gish said.
Cory Knops, a member of the MJCP who had been in the production before, suggested Medium Rare, written by Steve Hogue.
Knops plays Maynard Crock, another octogenarian in the play.
“I just upped my age a few years, watched a lot of old people and there I am,” Knops said.
He said the MJCP was a joy to be a part of, and even without audience laughter, rehearsals were quite funny. He has been a member of the players for the last two years.
Burgher said the MJCP does two, sometimes three, productions each years. She encouraged anyone interested in theatre to get involved — a sentiment seconded by Knops.
“Come on out, let your pants down and have some fun,” Knops said, making a reference to Medium Rare that you’ll have to see to understand.
Doors for the Friday and Saturday performances open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30.
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX