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Southern-style comedy with a twist

Madras Drama Club's spring performance is a play within a play

by: Photo By Susan Matheny - From left, Andrea Turner as Granny, Becky Leutwiler as Belle, Kortni Smith as the Colonel’s wife, Jon Hagen as the Colonel, and Alex Fisher as Beauregard.

General Editor
   April 16, 2003 — Fast food and slow-paced Southern charm clash in the Madras Drama Club's production of "For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls," on April 25, 26, and 27 at the high school cafetorium.
   The comedy intertwines two stories: students putting on a melodrama play, and the real drama going on behind the scenes.
   The over-the-top characters include a Colonel and his daughter Belle, who are trying to keep the family restaurant and Belle's heart from a scheming fast food franchiser named I.C. Blizzard.
   The story's hero is the restaurant's chef Beau, who secretly likes Belle but is too shy to tell her. He deals with his lack of confidence by cooking and undergoing psychoanalysis.
   Meanwhile, in a subplot, students at the local high school are putting on a play. During rehearsals, they trade insults and try to hide a budding romance.
   Both plots are held together by the Colonel's no-nonsense Yankee wife, who is the school's drama director.
   With a large cast and plenty of laughs, the play is sure to entertain all ages of theater goers.
   The play stars: Monica Nagell as Christina, a bright high school senior; Kortini Smith as Mrs. Clanghorne, a no nonsense teacher; Becky Leutwiler as Belle, a Scarlette O'Hara type; Alex Fisher as Beauregard, a psychobabbling, polite guy; and Adam Behrends as I.C. Blizzard, the fast food franchise king.
   Filling out the case are: Holly Abbe as Sadie; Kris Morgan as Ed; Joe Young and Mitchell Gasaway sharing the role of Jimmy; Jon Hagen as Col. Woodrow Clanghorne; Andrea Turner as Granny; Emma Wiernert and Mrs. Cobb and Hillbilly Woman; Amanda Farrier as Diane; Kaylee Dmytryk as J.P. Stackcash; Colleen Shepard as Horace Billings; Alejandra Canales as Mrs. Moskevitch; Will Wienert as Mr. Moskevitch and Hillbilly Man; and Adrianne Street as the Damsel in the tower. Costuming is by Marie Williams.
   The play is being directed by 509-J's new drama coach Dorian Haugen, who also works as a teacher's assistant at Westside Elementary.
   Haugen's background includes five years of producing and writing commercials for KATU-TV in Portland. During that time, she worked with many professional actors, writers and cameramen. Later, she did radio news work for Q104 radio in The Dalles.
   A year ago, her husband's work brought the Haugen family to Madras, where they are both active in the Young Life program.
   "I became interested in the MHS job because I've done lots of volunteer directing work with teens in the Young Life program," she said, noting the work is fun and she loves working with all ages of kids.
   For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls will be preformed at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 27. Tickets are $4.50 adults, $3 all students, and $10 for a family of four or more. Pre-purchased tickets will sell for 50 cents off the regular price. Tickets are available at the MHS school office, call 475-7265 for information, or at the door the night of the performance.