MICHIGAN CITY | An award-winning director and cast bring the suppression and dysfunction seething under the surface of Tennessee Williams' classic play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” to a boil onstage in Footlight Theatre's upcoming production.
The storyline is well-known – Big Daddy Pollitt (George Maslankowski), the richest cotton planter in the Mississippi Delta, is about to celebrate his 65th birthday. He is distressed by the rocky relationship between his beloved son Brick (Andrew Elderkin), an aging football hero who has turned to drink, and his beautiful and feisty wife Maggie (Lindsey Elderkin). But that's not the biggest problem on Big Daddy's hands – he's dying. Brick's brother, Gooper (Noel Carlson) and his wife, Mae (Peyton Daley) are cunning in their attempts to seize control of the estate, while Big Mama (Vicki Cash) is in denial. Throughout the evening, the family's veneer of Southern gentility slips away as unpleasant truths emerge.
“Cat” is set in the 1950s, but the subject matter speaks of the same problems our families experience today, said Andrew Elderkin. “To an outsider, the interactions amongst a family seem trivial compared to events that make the news, but to the members of that family, nothing could be more important,” he said.
The family connection isn’t lost on the Elderkins, a husband and wife team who are taking the stage for the first time together. But it’s been interesting exploring the characters of Brick and Maggie outside their own experience, they said. “Even though it's a milestone for us personally, in no way are we like Maggie and Brick at all,” Lindsey Elderkin joked. “With Andrew's patient, well-adjusted demeanor in real life, Brick is certainly a stretch for him. And I am rather boring compared to Maggie.”
“Cat” is entertaining while also being dramatic, which is one reason Steve Rohe said he chose to direct it. He hopes the play's serious edge gives food for thought, he said.
“I do hope that each audience member will leave with something to think about. That's why I've chosen such "light" fare in the past as "The Crucible", "Agnes of God", and "August: Osage County" to direct,” Rohe said. “On the way home from the show, if the audience members are thinking about the show, I've achieved my goal.”
Show dates are April 5- 7 and April 11-14, curtain at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 219-874-4035 or online at www.footlightplayers.org. Check our website for upcoming productions and special offers. Reservations will be held until 15 minutes prior to curtain unless secured by the presentation of a Footlight Season Gift Card or by prior payment in full.
Artist Sonjia Bencke of Michigan City will display paintings for sale in the Footlight lobby during the production. Footlight Theatre is located at 1705 Franklin St., Michigan City.
PHOTO: (L-R) Standing – George Maslankowski & Andrew Elderkin; Seated – Lindsey Elderkin
Robert Komendera, director of Footlight Players June production of “Fiddler on the Roof”, has announced the date for adult (all ages) auditions as Sunday, April 7th and Monday April 8th from 7-9 p.m. Auditions for grade school children will be April 7th from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Production dates are June 7-9, 14-16 & 21-23Auditionees should bring a prepared vocal selection. Footlight Theatre is located at 1705 Franklin Street, Michigan City. We are also looking for a volunteer violinist. For more info call 219-879-5840.