Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, is working on the world premiere of a locally written play entitled Ham Buns and Potato Salad. Here are the answers to five questions we’ve been getting:
1. What’s the play about?
Ham Buns and Potato Salad is a full-length comedy in two acts set in the fictional Iowa town of Hebron (population 318). There has been a tragic accident and the town is preparing for the funeral of a beloved couple who were life-long members of the community. The couple’s son, Thomas, is coming home to Hebron for the funeral and it is the first time he’s been to Hebron since he left for college twelve years earlier. Traveling with Thomas is his agent, Gladys Iskowitch, a Jewish New York dame who is visiting Iowa for the first time.
When Thomas left, the town was embroiled in a scandal that involved both him and his next door neighbor and best friend, Marian. The scandal was never resolved and has become the fodder of endless speculative conversation for the farmers who gather at the cafe twice a day for coffee time. Now that Thomas is returning home for the funeral, the heat is turned up on the long-simmering scandal.
Add to the mix a Vietnam veteran whose flashbacks send the citizens of Hebron running for cover, a cantankerous old Dutchman, a former high school sports hero continually reliving his glory days, and you have the perfect recipe for an evening of laughter.
2. What does the title Ham Buns and Potato Salad mean?
If you attend funerals in central Iowa, you’ll find that the menu at the reception is always the same: ham buns, potato salad, chips, brownies, Jell-O cake, water, iced tea, and coffee. The title of the play points to the event which drives the action in the play (the funeral of Thomas’ parents). It also points to a theme of grief that is subtly present for most of the characters in one way or another.
3. Will I like it?
Yes. There is something in this play for everyone:
If you like comedy: You’ll enjoy a lot of laughs. (Guaranteed.)
If you like drama: You’ll enjoy the serious theme that emerges. (Yep, also guaranteed.)
If you like kids: We have one in the cast. (Her name is Lily. She’s adorable.)
If you like romance: You’ll enjoy the love story. (Stories, actually. There’s bonus romance at no extra charge.)
If you like action: You’ll enjoy the gun fire. (Not kidding. There really is gun fire. Blanks, of course.)
If you like thrillers: You’ll love the twist. (M. Night Shyamalan eat your heart out.)
4. Who is in it?
Cyndi Atkins, Karl Deakyne, Doug DeWolf, Jana DeZwarte, Denise Gregory, Griffin Hammel, Mark Moreland, Arvin Van Zante, Wendy Vander Well, and Lily Villalobos.
5. Is it appropriate for children or families?
Parental Guidance is suggested, so call it PG. The show is not intended for younger children, but teens and some pre-teens will enjoy it. There is very little swearing (one “hell” and a few “my god”s) but parents should know that adult themes are addressed. We can’t say more without giving things away.
6. (BONUS QUESTION!) How can I see it?
Ham Buns and Potato Salad will be performed in the Pella Community Center (712 Union Street, Pella, Iowa) April 10-12 at 7:00 p.m. and April 13 at 2:00 p.m. The show runs approximately 2 hours with an intermission. Tickets are $8 for adults in advance and $10 at the door; $6 for students in advance and $8 at the door. Tickets can be purchased on-line in advance by clicking HERE.
Tickets are now on sale for Union Street Players‘ world premiere production of Ham Buns and Potato Salad.
Performances are April 10-13 on the stage of the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center (712 Union St., Pella, IA 50219).
Performance Dates and Times:
Thursday April 10, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday April 11, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday April 12, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday April 13, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. (matinee!)
$8.00 in advance for adults ($10.00 at the door)
$6.00 in advance for students ($8.00 at the door)
Balcony seats $6.00 in advance or at the door
Sara Collins, Annie Foskett, Greg May, and Pat Moriarity have been rehearsing since December in Newton Community Theatre’s upcoming new production of Boublil and Schnonberg’s “Les Miserables.” With a cast of over 50 area actors they are excited to bring one of the world’s most popular musicals to stage. Sara Collins, playing the part of Fantine has performed in many of Pella’s Union Street Players shows including the part of Kim in last summer’s “Bye, Bye, Birdie”. Sara is a junior at Iowa State University. Annie Foskett is playing the part of Cosette and has performed on stage with the Union Street Players and Newton Community Theater. Annie is a second grade teacher at Madison Elementary. Both Greg May and Pat Moriarity are part of the ensemble and have performed with the Union Street Players, Central Theatre, Pella Opera House, Pella Shakespeare, and Knoxville Area Community Theatre. Greg works at Mediacom in Knoxville and Pat is with Marion County Bank.
Show dates are March 14 & 15 at 7:30 PM, March 16 at 2 PM, March 18, 20, 21, and 22 at 7:30 PM. General Admission Tickets go on sale March 5. Tickets are $17 for adults and $15 for Youth. The Newton Community Theatre is located on 1701 S 8th Ave E. Phone number is 641-780-1230. The Box office is staffed 11:00 AM to 1 PM & 6:30 PM to 8 PM Monday through Friday & one hour before productions. “Les Miserables” is licensed by Musical Theatre International (MTI) by arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh LTD.”