As the Eunice Players’ Theatre opens its 41st season, Jody L. Powell brings to the stage a hilarious, fun-filled show, “What the Bellhop Saw”. The two-act comedy written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore is sure to leave audiences squealing with laughter as one comedic gag falls atop the other at breakneck speed.
Rehearsals are underway and the cast of stage veterans and those stepping on the Eunice stage for the first time are already creating characters that fill a hotel room with physical comedy, mistaken identities, a lot of money and a little bit of romance.
Making his stage debut is John Kittles of Eunice, playing Georgie, the hen-pecked husband of Arlene, played by Jerica Guillory of Eunice. Guillory was previously seen on the EPT stage in “Never Get Smart with an Angel”. Angelle Bellard of Duson steps in as Georgie’s secretary and the object of his affection. She has been seen on the EPT stage in “Providence”, “Bus Stop” and “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940”.
Portraying Georgie’s brother, Wally the bellhop, is Casey Harmon, a 16-year stage veteran from Crowley. Casey was most recently seen in Opelousas Little Theatre’s musical version of “Jekyll and Hyde” and he won the American Assn. of Community Theatre's Best Actor award for his portrayal of Lennie in “Of Mice and Men”.
Tucker Kelly and Morgan Booty, both from Crowley, fill the roles of Stan, a bumbling CIA agent and Missy, the hotel maid, respectively. Both were seen in “Bridge to Terabithia” and “Seance in Acadiana”, put on by the Acadia Players, as well as numerous high school and church productions.
Newcomer to the stage is Larry Reppond, of Eunice, fulfilling the role of Roger Fish, a renowned author whose life is in danger for having written the misunderstood book, “The Satanic Nurses”. Babu, the terrorist out to kill him, is played by Glenn “Jay” Mentel, Jr. of Opelousas. Jay most recently brought his gift for physical comedy to the EPT stage in “If the Shoe Fits” and the OLT stage in “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)”.
Bringing a healthy dose of comedy to Eunice for the first time is Shane Guilbeau, who plays Mr. Bickhardt, the hotel manager. Shane has become a local favorite in his home town of Lafayette for creating the Cajun comic character Grosbec, and playing multiple outrageous characters in “Greater Tuna” and “A Tuna Christmas”.
Rounding out the cast are Sarah Martel and Deborah D. Ardoin of Eunice. Only ten years old, Sarah is already an active violin player with the Eunice Symphony Orchestra. Ardoin is a long-time member of EPT and a founding member of the newly developed Acadiana Repertory Theatre. She is a multiple Irving Award winner, most recently for Best Actress in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”.
The humor in this play lies in a bunch of goofy people all descending on the same hotel room at the same time, with everybody frantically running in and out of doors, donning disguises, hiding and scheming and generally getting in trouble. Believe it when you’re told this is the making for a delightfully absurd evening of pure comedic gold!
Evening performances will be held April 15 – 17 and 21 – 22 at 7:00 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday, April 18 at 2:00 p.m. Dinner theatre (with steak and trimmings) is scheduled for Tuesday, April 20 at 6:00 p.m. at Nick's on Second St., with the performance immediately following. Individual tickets for the show are not on sale yet although season tickets may be purchased and more information can be obtained by calling 457-2156 or 546-0163. For $20 a season ticket includes 3 shows, reservation rights, voting privileges and an invitation to the 40th Annual Irving Awards. Angel and patron packages are also available for purchase.