Theatre department presents musical “The Spitfire Grill”

Cabrini Rudnicki, editor in chief

Wilkes University’s theatre department will present “The Spitfire Grill.” The performances will take place on Feb 20, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m., and on Feb. 22 and 23 at 1 p.m.

All performances will take place at the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center. General admission is $15. Students and seniors are $10. Admission is free for all Wilkes students with a university ID.

The musical is based on a film by Lee David Zlotoff, as well as a book by James Valcq and Fred Alley. Music is by Valcq while lyrics is by Fred Alley.

The cast includes Marcy Ledvinka as Percy Talbott, Maddison Black as Hannah Ferguson, Katelyn Sincavage as Shelby Thorpe, Alex Booth as Caleb Thorpe, Kris Tjornhorn as Sheriff Joe Sutter, Kayla Bevacqua as Effy Krayneck, and Ori Shaner as The Visitor.

The show follows a recently paroled convicet Percy Talbott as she starts over in Gilead, Wisc. She takes a job at the crumbling diner Spitfire Grill, which has unsuccesfully been up for sale for a decade. Percy hatches a plan to raffle ownership for $100 and an essay. Percy goes on to learn that she is not the only one in the town with a colorful history.

Ledvinka, who plays the main character Percy, explained the unique musical qualities of the show.

“The show is completely different than the average musical stereoype,” she said. “It is not flashy and filled with dancing. It’s a very realistic show that just happens to have singing.”

Sincavage feels the show is special due to its relatable nature.

“The characters are very relatable, so audience members could relate to one or many characters.”

According to Black, who plays diner owner Hannah, the show reminds her of living in Wilkes-Barre.

“A lot of locals closer to my age may question why people like it [in Wilkes-Barre],” she explained. “At the end of the day, Percy’s big thing is that she loves the nature of the area, which I think is something that we could really relate to here.”

Jon Liebetrau, assistant professor of performing arts and director of the show, says he picked the show due to its similarities to today’s societal issues.

“It kind of reflects some aspects of where we are today in the country. There is a lot of division, and distrust in people. When there is division in hard times, people start to blame other people for their own problems.”

Liebetrau emphasized the show’s focus on hope, redemption and reawakening.

“It is about the beauty of things around us that we take for granted. We don’t really see them there until something happens.”

The department’s next show will be The Tragedy of Julius Caesar on April 2, 3, and 4.