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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: ‘A Bad Year for Tomatoes’ opens this week in Sturgeon Bay

Critic At Large

Rogue Theater

Play poster.

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Rogue Theater community troupe will present live, in-person performances of the John Patrick comedy “A Bad Year for Tomatoes” starting this week.

Performances are in the Oasis Center at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church; 1756 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay. Starting times are 7 p.m. July 15-17; 2 p.m. July 18; 7 p.m. July 22-24 and 2 p.m. July 25. Info: roguetheater.org.

According to a press release: Rogue Theater is bringing back the show that was popular for it seven years ago in its former home, The Depot Performing Arts Center.

Co-artistic directors Lola DeVillers and Stuart Champeau decided that this year, coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, was the right time to mount the production again.

The original cast is returning, and Stuart Champeau will again direct.

Snapshot: Famous TV actress Myra Marlowe leaves her acting career in Hollywood and leases a tiny New England cottage for a year to write her autobiography and escape the craziness of show biz.  She successfully rejects her long-time agent’s offers for a new television series, but dealing with her nosy omnipresent neighbors is a different matter.  In an attempt to shoo them away she invents a mad homicidal sister who she says is locked away in her bedroom.  The mad sister (Myra in disguise) pulls off the ruse until a backwoods lumber jack/skunk trapper falls for her.  A couple of officious ladies decide it is their Christian duty to save the poor demented “Sister Sadie” and a local spiritualist decides witchcraft is the only way to fix her. 

In the cast are Lola DeVillers as Myra Marlowe, Stuart Champeau as her Hollywood agent, Chris Milton, Donna Johnson and Jamie Buesing as the nosy neighbors, Chris Weidenbacher as the backwoods lumberjack and David Clowers as the small-town sheriff.

John Patrick was a prolific playwright and radio and Hollywood screenwriter. “The Curious Savage” and “The Teahouse of the August Moon” are among his many plays. His screenplays include “High Society,” “Some Came Running” and “The World of Suzie Wong.”

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