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University Theatre presents ‘The Spitfire Grill’

October 22, 2015

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls University Theatre will present “The Spitfire Grill,” Oct. 29-31 and Nov. 5-7, in the Blanche Davis Theatre located in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

“The Spitfire Grill” is an American musical with music and book by James Valcq and lyrics and book by Fred Alley, based on the award-winning film of the same name by David Lee Zlotoff.

The story follows the journey of a feisty young woman, Percy Talbott, who has recently been released from prison. Talbott follows a page from an old travel book to the small Wisconsin town of Gilead, and finds herself working at Hannah Ferguson’s Spitfire Grill.

The grill is for sale, but there are no takers for the restaurant in the struggling town, so Talbott suggests to Ferguson that she raffle it off. For a hundred dollars and an essay about why they might want the grill, anyone can enter. Entries pour in, and renewed hope for the future spreads through the town. With its folk and bluegrass tinged score, “The Spitfire Grill” is an inspiring celebration of fresh starts and the power of what one person can do.

The production is directed by theatre instructor Sean Dooley, a working actor in the Twin Cities. The cast, consisting entirely of UWRF students, includes Kendra Yarke (East Bethel, Minn.) as Percy Talbott, Molly Hayes (Anoka, Minn.) as Hannah Ferguson, Corey Fern (Shakopee, Minn.) as Sherriff Joe Sutter, Danielle Bebus (Forest Lake, Minn.) as Shelby Thorpe, Nic Persoon (Mahtomedi, Minn.) as Caleb Thorpe, Emma Johnson (Shoreview, Minn.) as Effy Krayneck, and Ben Heer (Rice Lake) as Eli Ferguson.

The orchestra members are Deb McPhetres on piano, Trevor Holien on violin, Jim Wainwright on cello, Donna Byrne on accordion, and Walter Croll on guitar and mandolin. The musical director is Calyssa Hall.

Tickets are $15/adults, $12/seniors (60+) and $5/children and UWRF students with ID. Recommended for ages 10 and over. The box office, located in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building, is open weekdays from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Oct. 22-28 and Nov. 2-4. The box office opens at 6 p.m. on performance days. Tickets can be purchased in person, by phone at 715-425- 3114, or on the University Theatre website.

For more information, call 715-425-3114 or email martha.donnelly@uwrf.edu.