Something’s cooking at ‘The Spitfire Grill’
BAKER CITY — Something’s cooking at The Spitfire Grill, and it’s not anything edible.
Well, if Hannah’s cooking you might be OK — but Percy’s the mystery woman who breezed into town, can’t cook and just got out of prison.
That fact immediately hits the rumor mill of tiny Gilead, Wisconsin, the setting of “The Spitfire Grill,” a musical presented this month by Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre.
“This has been a wonderful and talented cast and crew to work with,” said director Leanne Hinkle. “This is one show the community does not want to miss.”
The musical features actors who have graced the stage before, plus a newcomer who hasn’t acted since middle school.
The cast includes Dana Marlia as Percy, Ginger Savage as Hannah, Mary Collard as Shelby, Lisa Ensworth as Effie, Bob Whitnah as Sheriff Joe, Ron Hunter Jr. as Caleb and Scot Violette as a mystery man in the woods.
Live music is provided throughout the show by Mary Black on piano, Angela Rosemeyer on guitar and Jeremy Clawson on violin.
The show follows several plotlines at once, most notably Percy’s arrival.
Percy saw a picture of Gilead in a magazine while she was in prison, and that’s why she chose this place that seemed so idyllic on the page.
But acceptance comes slowly from the residents, who are highly suspicious of the new girl serving at The Spitfire Grill — the only place to eat in Gilead.
The local postmistress, Effie, is the most suspicious, while another local, Caleb, digs into the newcomer’s past to find out just why she spent time in prison.
Meanwhile, friendships form between Hannah, Percy and Shelby, who comes to the rescue in the diner when Hannah injures her leg and has to take some time off. The audience also finds out about Eli, Hannah’s son, who went missing in action.
Then there is the interaction between Percy and her parole officer, Sheriff Joe.
And what about the mysterious visitor who comes at night to retrieve the loaf of bread that Hannah sets out every evening?
In the midst of all this action — and songs that run from upbeat and funny to sweet and
sentimental — Hannah decides to raffle off The Spitfire Grill to the person who writes the best essay. Entries come from far and wide, and the town is united by the contest.
The show opens at 7 p.m. May 5. Performances continue at 7 p.m. May 6 and 3 p.m.
May 7, then again at 7 p.m. May 12-13 and 3 p.m. May 14.
All performances will be at the Iron Gate Theater, located upstairs in Basche-Sage Place, 2101 Main St., Baker City. An elevator is available.
Tickets are available at Betty’s Books in Baker City and online at ww.bakerlivetheatre.com. Cost is $17 for adults, $15 for members of EORT and $13 for students. Seating is limited to 45.