WAYLAND — The Wayland Community Players are entertaining the area once more with another quality comedy.
Virgil Sludge makes a comeback this year as a simple-minded country boy who dreams of making it big in Hollywood. Virgil Goes to Hollywood by Eddie McPherson will be presented on March 9 at 6 p.m. at the Wayland American Legion. All funds from the play go to benefit Wayland Area Charities.
The comedy is directed by Ron Hill and Mark McKelvey. The cast this year includes: Ron Hill, Jody Tonkery, Mark May, Stacy Menz, Anne Heiman, Chase Weber, Caleb Wilcox, Michelle Wilcox, Diane Hamsher, Treva Stone Walker, Tanya Babcock, Jean McMillan, David Neutzel, and Casey Sick.
Jody Tonkery and Mark May steal the show again with their wise cracking remarks and fun-loving characters. Chase Weber shines as Virgil Sludge again this year, and it seems he has really taken to the part. Stacy Menz has found her spotlight as the narrator of the comedic events that transpire between scenes. Jean McMillan made a great comeback as a crazy old lady. Ron Hill brings the charm with the love-sick meter reader. Caleb Wilcox is an impressive actor with his mother Michelle Wilcox guiding him on stage. This offered us three generations of actors on the stage with Hill and the Wilcox’s. Newcomers David Neutzel and Tanya Babcock fit right in with the rest of the cast in this country comedy. The chemistry between Babcock, Hill, and May is undeniable. The play was filled with true-to-life love triangles and gets at the heart of what it means to be happy with what you have.
Wayland American Legion staff work hard to get this set ready for the players every year.
Kelly Loveland recalls the plays being done at the historic Miller House in Perkinsville for many years.
“I have worked on setting up for the play since they were doing it at the Miller House about 10 years ago,” she said. “I really liked the Miller House, but it was a lot of work getting up and down those stairs. I think it is good that they still do this to benefit places like the Vincent House. I never get to watch the plays myself since I am always working in the kitchen. I worked as a waitress in the Miller House, and was able to see a little of it then. It was a fun way for all the little towns to get together.”
Wayland Legion Auxiliary President Kelly Harrison said that there is a lot of work that goes into getting this place ready for the play.
“We do a lot of the behind the scenes work for the play, and it comes right after the Fashion Show every year,” she said. “It all comes together nicely, since we have a lot of repeat help from members. It is all a well oiled machine.”
Harrison said she enjoys the play every year, and mostly the crowd's reactions to the comedy.
“I know all the people in the play, and I enjoy watching them perform,” she said. “I enjoy watching the crowds reaction to the play every year. When you are so used to seeing them in the play it is funny to still think of them in character when it is over.”