USAO Presents Broadway Comedy, ‘The Man Who Came to Dinner’

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

CHICKASHA – What do three celebrities, four penguins, 10,000 cockroaches and an Egyptian mummy have in common? They’re all part of the upcoming production of “The Man Who Came to Dinner” at the University of Science and Arts.

The well-known Broadway comedy hits the Davis Hall Little Theatre Oct. 27-28 at 8 p.m. with a matinee Oct. 29 at 2 p.m.

Katie Simons, assistant professor of drama, said the wit and energy of the play will carry easily to the audience.

“I can't imagine anything more fun: a great comic script filled with witty characters and a talented cast of more than 25 high-energy college students,” Simons said. “The audience will know at once that the fun of this show is happening on stage as well as behind the scenes.”

Tickets at the door are $5 for adults and $2 for high school students 18 and under. USAO students, faculty and staff get in free with a USAO ID.

Written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, “The Man” has been entertaining Americans since 1939 in the form of both stage and film productions across the nation. The story combines caricatures of celebrities like the Marx Brothers, Alexander Woolcott, Noel Coward and Tallulah Bankhead.

Set during a 1930s winter, the play revolves around Sheridan Whiteside, an obnoxious celebrity who has been made guest of honor at a social dinner. When he slips on the icy porch of his hosts, he is forced to stay a few extra weeks while he recovers. The wheelchair-bound star is visited by a variety of strange personalities, including murderers, choir boys, hungry penguins, an elderly octopus and even an Egyptian mummy.

Marlow communication sophomore C.W. Bardsher said his character, who is called “the world’s rudest man,” is really just misunderstood.

“My character, Sheridan Whiteside, can be rude, but he does it strictly on the side of kindness,” Bardsher said. “What he feels like is best for other people is unconsciously based on his own wants and needs.”

Under the direction of Simons, USAO’s production features more than two dozen USAO students from a variety of majors and classifications.

The cast includes Marlow communication junior Meagan Peters, Blackwell drama sophomore Chris Stanford, Oklahoma City drama freshman Jared Williams, Blanchard freshman Susan Butler, Norman drama/political science senior Erika Cerda, Tuttle freshman Kelsey Hostetter and Moore communication/drama sophomore Ryan Bell.

Also included in the cast are Frisco, Texas political science senior Angela Jones, Tulsa deaf education junior Brittany Schultz, Tulsa early childhood development junior Laura Schultz, Bartlesville psychology freshman Mark Schlasner, Savannah, Ga. deaf education senior Diana Steinhauser, Fort Dix, N.J. communication freshman Christopher Sommer and Kingfisher communication sophomore Matt Lane.

Tulsa drama senior DeeDee Beard, Tulsa communication junior Lonnie Iannazzo, Oklahoma City music sophomore Mickey DeFord, El Reno history/secondary education freshman Joseph Shelton, Blanchard communication freshman Kyle Mulkey and Chickasha freshman Terry Black round off the cast.

Crew members include Moore music senior Kristen Epperson, Edmond communication sophomore Arielle Green, Broken Arrow deaf education junior Mandy Mason, Wetumka English freshman Kasey Sams and Andrea Taylor of Sapulpa, who graduated in the spring.

Bardsher said the comic play is a team effort.

“The play is ridiculously funny,” he said. “With a production this big, it’s really great to have all the cast and crew members as dedicated as they are to working toward the same goal.”