MCT’s “Escanaba in Love” debuts Friday

Poster-ORGL

Fans of Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor Jeff Daniels may, or may not, be surprised he is also a playwright.

Indeed he is, having authored “The Escanaba Trilogy,” about the hilarious escapades of the Soady family.

Marshalltown Community Theater produced the middle installment “Escanaba in da Moonlight” said MCT President Rick Gooding.

“We learned other community theaters did “Moonlight” first, then ‘Love.’ They completed the set with the third installment entitled simply ‘Escanaba,'” Gooding said.

Veteran MCT actor and director Bill Roberts of Le Grand said he was excited about directing the second installment.

He directed “Escanaba in da Moonlight” in 2015, he said.

And, at a recent practice Roberts said he is having a lot of fun with the ensemble cast anchored by MCT veterans Stacey Heil and Ken Walton for “Escanaba in Love” debuting Friday at the Martha-Ellen Tye Theater.

“In “Escanaba in da Moonlight” Albert Soady is an old man with two grandsons,” said Roberts. “In ‘Escanaba in Love,’ Soady is 18-years old and preparing to enter the U.S. Army during World War II. I wanted to do this prequel as close to the first one as possible … so people who liked the first will come to this one. It is a funny script about the deer-hunting family … and it is easy for actors because the Upper Peninsula (Michigan) dialect, the dees, does and dats are written in … so it makes it easy for actors to get that. It is a little naughty, but not too bad. We had a great reaction to the first play, and I am hoping for another great reaction for the second.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students (with ID) and $5 for children (12 and under). For more information, contact the MCT box office at Tye Theater, 641-752-4164, or MCT’s Facebook page.

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Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com