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From Tibbits 2010 production of "Escanaba in da Moonlight": (from left) Benjamin Lee Jackson, Ian Russell, Alan Elliot, and John Payonk. Jackson, Elliot and Payonk will be returning for "Escanaba in Love."
Posted: Oct. 14, 2012 at 7:52 p.m.
COLDWATER – Just in time for hunting season, Tibbits continues its 2011-2012 Entertainment Series with Jeff Daniels' Yooper deer camp comedy "Escanaba in Love."
"Escanaba in Love" was written in 2006 by Daniels as a prequel to "Escanaba in da Moonlight," which was also presented at Tibbits in 2010. The story is set 40 years prior, during WWII, and is said to take place deep in the woods just north of Escanaba – a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
This hilarious story begins as newlywed 18-year-old Albert Soady Jr. (Richard Baker) brings Big Betty Balou (Kiersten Voorhies), whom he won in a kissing contest and promptly married, to honeymoon at the world-famous Soady Deer Camp – thereby breaking the camp's sacred rule: no women allowed. However, Big Betty is not your typical bride. She smells worse, drinks more, and out-hunts any of the men – regardless of how hard they try to outdo her. To make matters worse, Albert hasn't brought his rifle because he has enlisted in the army and intends to report for duty the following day, as opposed to hunting and bagging his first buck. Hilarity ensues when the frustrated hunters attempt to reason with Albert, as Big Betty stands her ground, firmly carving her niche in the Soady family tree.
In the midst of all the preparation for this year's production, Tibbits artistic director Charles Burr said, "A unique twist to our production, three of our cast members from 2010 are returning to play their own fathers." Albert Soady is now Alfont (John Payonk), Reuben Soady is now Albert Sr. (Alan Elliot), and Jimmer Negamanee is now Salty Jim (Benjamin Lee Jackson).
Burr adds, "You certainly do not have to have seen the first installment to enjoy the second. 'Escanaba in Love' will be a performance to remember."
Performances are 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 20, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. This show is PG-13 with some language and situations.
Tickets for the performances are priced at $25 for adults, $23 for members and $15 for students. Tickets are available at www.Tibbits.org, by calling 517-278-6029, or visiting the administrative offices between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 93 W. Chicago St., Coldwater.
Tibbits Opera House offers an intimate historic setting, handicap accessibility, and hearing assistance devices. The theatre is located at 14 S. Hanchett St., Coldwater.