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"Every Little Crook and Nanny" Offers a Fun Entertainment

Show Runs Through April 28

An afternoon or evening of entertainment with a couple of surprise twists is in store for theatre fans in "Every Little Crook and Nanny," opening today, April 12, at Lake Wales Little Theatre.

A talented cast and the directorial expertise of Larry Helms combine to create a fun performance of a comedy that manages to wrap itself around a bit of a "who-done-it" mystery.

LaVaughn Williamson, Williamson Photography

Teddy, played by Josiah Chestnut, does his best to charm the house trio of Carmella, Jocelyn, and Lillie, played by (L to R) Susanna Fisher Carey, Jeanette Hughes, and Dorinda Morrison-Garrard.

The ensemble cast features its own array of surprises, with strong performances all around, showcasing the casting prowess of Helms.

The two -act show is set in the tidy boarding house run by retired nanny Lillie Scones, played by veteran Dorinda Morrison-Garrard, who shares the digs with her constant companions Jocelyn and Carmella, played by Jeanette Hughes and Susanna Fisher Carey. The three see their routine shaken a bit when Lillie's former difficult charge, Stu Benchley, now a handsome young man, returns to rent a room.

LaVaughn Williamson, Williamson Photography

Lillie serves tea to her boarder, Stu, at right, and his "friend," Pat, who has tagged along to help in a planned bank heist.

The suave Benchley, played by Roman Shano, brings along a companion, Pat, played by Casey Gist, who reeks of trouble and quickly reveals that the object of their conspiracy is a bank heist.

Their plot is set against the sugary relationship between a boarder, Teddy, well-played by Josiah Chestnut, and his sweetheart, Betty, Gianna Dadiego. Betty is preparing for her impending graduation, but the plotters have no idea that she's soon to become a law officer.

LaVaughn Williamson, Williamson Photography

A flirtatious Stu Benchley, played by Roman Shano, comes on strong to Betty Collins, played by Gianna Dadiego, while her boyfriend is away.

Naturally, a bank robbery requires an investigation, and Roger Williams fills the role of Chief Dan Collins, determined to catch to perpetrator.

LaVaughn Williamson, Williamson Photography

Teddy, played by Josiah Chestnut, does his best to charm the house trio of Carmella, Jocelyn, and Lillie, played by (L to R) Susanna Fisher Carey, Jeanette Hughes, and Dorinda Morrison-Garrard.

Eleven-year-old Bostyn Angsten offers a great performance in the role of Gerald Sims, the mischievous child snoop who throws the other's tidy assumptions out the window.

Virginia Barrett plays the distraught mother of young Gerald, seemingly at wit's end about how to deal with the precocious child and his allegations. A gag running through the show is an oversized "rescue" cat that Lillie has brought into the home, where it resides in the kitchen and terrorizes the guests. The backstage duo of John Gibson and Karen Fewell pull that off with aplomb.

LaVaughn Williamson, Williamson Photography

Casey Gist, as wannabe bank robber Pat, gets a skeptical response from the young troublemaker Gerald Sims, playn by Bostyn Andsten.

Fans of mysteries may be caught guessing as to the real motives of some of the characters, but they will likely still be surprised at the double-twist ending.

The fun performances open April 12 and run through April 28. Shows are performed on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30. Sunday matinees start at 2 p.m. Reserved seating tickets are $20 for adults and $14 for those age 18 and under. The intimate theatre at 411 North Third Street offers 140 seats and only six rows, meaning there are no bad seats.

LaVaughn Williamson, Williamson Photography

Larry Helms, seated at left, could take a bow simply for the casting of "Every Little Crook and nanny," as the performers were well suited to the roles, always a challenge in amateur theatre.

 

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