‘Bus Stop’ opens at PowPAC
By Emily Sorensen
A role once played by Marilyn Monroe will be brought to life on stage when PowPAC, Poway’s Community Theater presents its new show, “Bus Stop,” opening Friday, May 10 and running weekends only through Sunday, June 9 at its theater, located at 13250 Poway Road, in the Lively Center.
“It’s a romance,” said director Keith A. Anderson of the show. “It has a good ending, everyone gets together at the end.”
“Bus Stop,” written by William Inge, opened on Broadway in 1955, but is probably best remembered for the 1956 movie adaptation starring Marilyn Monroe as Cherie. “Bus Stop” tells the story of a group of bus passengers who are forced to stop at a restaurant that serves as a bus stop during a blizzard. “There are lots of comedic elements in the show, but at times it’s very serious,” said Anderson. “It’s a slice-of-life story. The audience should really enjoy the characters interacting with each other. It’s a good family show.”
For Anderson, a former professional actor and director, “Bus Stop” is a return to working with Inge, at least in spirit. In 1973, Anderson directed the world premiere of Inge’s play “The Last Pad,” starring a then-unknown Nick Nolte. Anderson also directed the world premiere of Inge’s “Overnight,” following Inge’s death in 1973. “Inge is a master of characterization,” said Anderson. “He downplays the story and focuses on intriguing and interesting characters.”
Anderson said that PowPAC had been wanting to do “Bus Stop” for a number of years, and was finally able to fit it in this season in order to have a fun show for the family.
All the action in the play takes place in the restaurant, and Anderson said the set reflects this. “It’s sort of naturalistic in its staging,” said Anderson, who added that moving the cast around in a small space like a restaurant is challenging.
That challenge should be well met with the cast, who Anderson described as “a very good, experienced cast.” “Bus Stop” will feature Christine Gatlin as Cherie, Nathan Boyer as Bo Decker, Daniel Sky as Virgil Blessing, Lisa Allison as diner owner Grace Hoyland, Don Evans as bus driver Carl, Robert Shadbolt as town sheriff Will Masters, Elizabeth Blair Johnson as Elma Duckworth, and Terence J. Burke as Dr. Gerald Lyman. “We have cast members from all around the county,” said Anderson. “There was a big turnout for auditions. It should be a popular show.”
Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $18 general admission; $15 for seniors, students and active military. There is a $2 surcharge for opening night, which includes a reception with the cast after the show. Reserve your seats by calling the PowPAC box office at 858-679-8085 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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