Warm Wisconsin musical presented by Ripon College

A wonderful and award-winning Wisconsin musical, “The Spitfire Grill,” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. March 5 through 8 by the Ripon College theatre and music departments. Performances will be in Benstead Theatre, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts, on the Ripon College campus. Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 748-8791.

spitfire grill

Brennan Kane, a first-year student from Ramsey, Minn. (seated foreground), as Eli and JaneMarie Erickson, a sophomore from Redgranite, Wis., as Percy, rehearse for the upcoming Ripon College theatre department production of the musical “The Spitfire Grill,” to be performed in Benstead Theatre March 5 to 8, 2014.

The musical follows the story of a young woman from her parole from prison in Fond du Lac County to her search for a new life in a small Wisconsin town. The musical is more than just a physical journey; it is the journey of the human spirit renewed and healed by the power of forgiveness and reconciliation. “The Spitfire Grill” is tough, funny and affirming. It shows audiences a little bit of who we are and who we can become.

Filled with warmth, goodwill and soaring melodies, “The Spitfire Grill” was written by Wisconsin artists Fred Alley and James Valcq and won the Richard Rodgers Production Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It has had 400 productions in New York, Germany and Korea over the last 14 years. The Ripon College theatre and music departments are glad to welcome it back to where it started and to the world that it celebrates.

The cast includes JaneMarie Erickson ’16 of Redgranite, Wis., as Percy; Jerry Kurek ’14 of Whitefish Bay, Wis., as Joe; Kally Gagnon ’14 of Mount Horeb, Wis., as Hannah; Susie Shively ’17 of Wauwatosa, Wis., as Effy; Emily Dozier ’14 of Quincy, Ill., as Shelby; Dan Miles ’14 of Milwaukee, Wis., as Caleb; and Brennan Kane ’17 of Ramsey, Minn., as Eli. The understudies are London Mosher ’16 of Sun Prairie, Wis., and Veronica DeLisle ’17 of Shrewsbury, Mass.

Anders Goodwin ’15 of Milwaukee, Wis., is the assistant director. Costume design is by Susan McDaniel Hill, visiting professor of theatre; set design is by John Dalziel, assistant professor of theatre; and lighting design is by Robert Amsden, professor of theatre.

The play is directed by Professor of Theatre Kenneth Hill with musical direction by Kyle Szabo, assistant professor of music, and Seong Kyung Graham, instructor of music.

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