Comedy showcases Christmas in July

A policeman, played by Charles Voechting-Mitchell, arrests David Tuttle, played by Daniel Lutz, on the suspicion that he is the Santa burglar in “Sorry, Wrong Chimney,” a comedy of errors. (Lisa Britton/ Go! Staff)

BAKER CITY — Deep in the middle of summer, many wish for a wintry-type breeze to cool off. While no snow will fall inside the Iron Gate Theatre this weekend, the feeling is definitely festive as Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre presents “Sorry, Wrong Chimney.”

This comedy of errors is rife with Santa suits and gifts under a decorated tree — a dose of
Christmas in July.

“It’s a funny look at Christmas and the Christmas spirit,” said Jean Simpson-Geddes, the director. “They’re enjoying themselves, and it’s a fun cast.”

The show was written by Jack Sharkey and Leo W. Sears.

Simpson-Geddes and Scot Violette, who plays Bill in the play, worked together on this play 20 years ago in Baker City.

“We wanted to do it again — why not in July?” Simpson-Geddes said.

The plot revolves around two couples: Samantha and David Tuttle, and Bill and Natalie Weldon.

To make some extra money for a special Christmas present, David takes an after-work job as a department store Santa. He enlists the help of a neighbor, Natalie, to keep his secret and hide the gift.

To cover, David tells his wife that he’s working late. However, when she calls his office one night, she is told that everyone is gone by 5 p.m.

She immediately jumps to the conclusion that David is seeing someone else.

In a panic, she asks the advice of her neighbor, Bill (Natalie’s husband), who agrees to hypnotize David and convince him he’s still in love with his wife.

However, the man who Bill sees in the Santa suit is not David — it’s Kris, the Santa burgler who is robbing Samantha and David’s apartment.

But Bill doesn’t waste any time by confirming an identity — he immediately hypnotizes the Santa he believes to be David.

When Samantha walks in, Kris runs to her and expresses his love — much to the dismay of the real David.

In the mayhem, Kris’ fiancee shows up with a gun and, upon finding that her Santa now thinks he’s someone else, she forces
another hypnosis.

Except the wrong David is hypnotized and now the real David thinks he’s in love with Sheila.

Just imagine how they try to
explain the chaos — and bullet holes in the ceiling — to the policeman who eventually shows up.

“It’s about misunderstandings in love, and how things can work out without violence,” Simpson-Geddes said.


What’s the 411?

‘Sorry, Wrong Chimney’

When: 7 p.m. July 22, 23, 29 and 30; 3 p.m. July 24 and 31

Where:  Iron Gate Theater, 2101 Main St., Baker City

Cost: $15 for general admission, $13 for EORT members, $7 for students; available at Betty’s Books and at the door


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