Millennium Repertory Company’s play “The Trouble with Cats,” a romantic comedy by Gary Ray Stapp, will open this weekend at the Manchester Arts Center under the direction of stage-veteran BeLinda Ivins.
Adding to the stress of the premier, the critically acclaimed playwright, from Garnett, Kan., will be sitting the audience.
Ivans, however, is confident in her cast and the lessons learned by local mentors.
“This is my first time directing adults,” she said. “I chose Charlie Winton as my mentor, and he has given me valuable advice. He said that casting is key, and I feel that I have an excellent cast.”
The play is sure to be the marrage of a competent cast and a winning story.
“The Trouble with Cats” is about a stressed out, well-to-do couple who decide to go on vacation, but fear their house sitters will not show up, so they decide to hire two couples to housesit––an older couple from New Jersey and a younger couple from North Carolina.
Add a construction crew of women remodeling the master suite to the mix and some nosey neighbors who don’t even bother to knock, you get complete insanity.
“My character, Phillip Julian, is a modern day Archie Bunker,” said Tony Graham. Most recently Graham has appeared in “South Pacific” in Tullahoma.
Fellow actor Anne Black describes the differences in her own feelings and those of her character.
“I absolutely love cats, but my character, Ivy Julian, despises them. I spend much of my time looking for the illusive cats.”
Black has appeared in “Dearly Departed” in Manchester and “Over the River and Through the Woods” in Tullahoma.
The younger sitters, a vegan couple from North Carolina, are a thorn in the side for the older couple from New Jersey. They do yoga, play guitar and do not appreciate a ham or a tasty pot roast. In fact, Sunshine (played by Amanda Underwood) calls ham a “pig cadaver.” Her lover, River, played by Morgan Underwood, has a problem with authority.
The theme of older and younger people learning from each other prevails throughout the play.
Millennium’s Noel Clements appears in a cameo appearance as Amos, the love interest of Mitzy, one of the Cheshire sisters. He can hardly stay away from the attractive blonde contractor long enough for her to work.
The femme contractors, the Cheshire sisters, are fraught with their own problems. Played by Alex Ivins, Gina Chapman, and Crystal McCullough – these three sisters certainly add to the action.
The play will run Sept. 27-29 and Oct. 4-6 at the Manchester Arts Center, 128 East Main St. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday shows begin at 2:00 p.m. Due to adult situations, this play is not recommended for young children. Reservations can be made by calling 931-570-4489. Discount tickets (a savings of $2 per ticket) can be purchased at www.millenniumrep.org. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $13for adults/$11 for students, military, and seniors.