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Tomatoes is a knee-slapping laugh riot

John Patrick's comedic farce is staged at the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater in downtown Boring
by: contributed photo by JUSTIN LAZENBY Even though tomatoes have little to do with the storyline of the latest Nutz-n-Boltz Theater production of “A Bad Year for Tomatoes,” by John Patrick, two New England busybodies, Cora (Alisa Phipps, left) and Reba (Kim Berger, middle) discuss the veggie problem with Myra (Kelly Lazenby, right), a big-name actress from TV land.

Sometime during the next four weekends, area residents should leave the dinner table and stroll or drive to the Grange Hall in downtown Boring.

Seated at tables, they'll be treated to dessert and entertained with a story as hilarious as it is crazy: 'A Bad Year for Tomatoes' by John Patrick.

With a little zany and sometimes slapstick humor, a seven-member ensemble of the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater company will create a farce that will exercise all of the audience's laugh muscles.

The 'Tomatoes' scenario begins when Myra (Artistic Director Kelly Lazenby of Gresham) leaves the glitz and glamour of Hollywood's TV cameras to write an autobiography in the solitude of Beaver Haven, N.H.

What she finds there is far from solitude, with the neighborhood's busybodies, Cora (Alisa Phipps of Happy Valley) and Reba (Kim Berger of West Linn), always kibitzing about the juiciest gossip - and never leaving Myra alone.

Myra concocts a scheme as crazy as the townsfolk, inventing a mad, homicidal sister, Sadie (Myra with a frightful wig), who is locked in an upstairs room, but who escapes long enough to scare uninvited visitors.

But when Piney, the town's handyman and trapper (Cris Canne of Rhododendron) develops a crush on Sadie, the proverbial 'jig' is up.

When Myra announces her imaginary sister has left on a trip to Boston, she becomes a suspect in a murder plot, and the sheriff (veteran actor Jim Baumgardner of Gresham) steps in to investigate and make an arrest.

The continual hilarity is helped through the zany activities of psychic Willa Mae (Kelsey Brand of Damascus), who seems to be in a world apart from reality.

The story is supported also by the appearance of Myra's Hollywood agent Tom (veteran actor Justin Lazenby of Gresham), who appears to have a small crush on Myra.

But as it is said: 'All's well that ends well,' and theater-goers will have to visit the Nutz-n-Boltz production to find out how this 95-minute farce ends.

The name, a reference to the red berry we often eat in salads, is connected to the storyline only as a metaphor. Myra wants to escape to the country and live a quiet life, raising tomatoes, but the tranquility and luscious red fruit are both in short supply.

This is the beginning of the sixth season for the professional community theater in Boring, located in the Boring-Damascus Grange Hall, near Highway 212 in downtown Boring.

The play is staged at 7:30 p.m. each Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. each Sunday Sept. 23 through Oct. 16

Tickets for the show only are $10. Dessert theater tickets are $12, and include table seating with choice of dessert.

Student tickets are $8.

For more information about the new season or to purchase tickets, visit nnbtheater.com.