The Clearwater Cast of Characters once again outdid themselves with this year’s dinner theater melodrama, She Was Only Marginally Modest by Vern Harden, performed at Eagle Trace Club House and Event Center in Clearwater.
She Was Only Marginally Modest is a classic melodrama set in the deep, dark woods of Minnesota. In it, Ma Bell fights to save Dead Moose Lodge from repossession and holds off the selfish advances of the lecherous Judge Jury McBribe. Granny Fanny searches for a husband, Prunehilda fights to defend her honor (from no one), Willimena Worm falls madly in love with Turkey O’Trot, and undercover judge Ruben Z. Patsy arrives to sentence the guilty and perform the weddings.
In the end, heroine Marge Modest is saved from the dastardly villain Brad Apple by Seymore Stoutfellow.
The cast of 13 performed three weekends of sold-out shows in April and sold close to 800 dinners, a record number for the non-profit organization.
“It’s a fun play,” said first time Director Dan Braun, who has performed with The Clearwater Cast of Characters in previous years. “It’s a spoof on Dudley Do-Right but Americanized slap stick humor.”
“My daughter said it’s the best play I’ve ever done,” said Donna Stai, who played Ruben Z. Patsey and has over 40 years of community theater experience. “And she’s grown up with it.”
Stai is the one who originally brought the idea of community theater to Clearwater after she moved to the area in 2000. The first production was On Golden Pond, performed for just one weekend in 2005. Clearwater Cast of Characters has since grown and performed every year with the exception of 2020 and 2021, when production had to be halted due to COVID-19.
A 501C non-profit organization, Clearwater Cast of Characters extended thanks to Clearwater Estates for their sponsorship, Clearwater Parts City for printing their programs, and the community for their support.
Aside from money put away for next year, all proceeds from the production are donated back to the community. This year’s recipients were the Clearwater Clear Lake Area Food Shelf and the CentraCare Foundation for the Memory Care Unit at St. Benedict’s Center in Monticello.
This year’s cast included Amber Kirger as Marginally Modest, Trysha Tellers as Monopoly Bell (Ma Bell), Jack Schulte as Brad Apple, Keerstyn Phelps as Gladiola, Sandy Ernst as Hattie Hogge, Linda Campana as Granny Fanny, Suesan Betzler as Prunehilda Pincher, Gary Phelps as Judge Jury McBribe, Randy Maanum as Seymore Stoutfellow, Teresa Anresto as Willimena Worm, Rick Braun as Turkey O’Trot, Donna Stai as Ruben Z. Patsey, and Katy Tellers as Poster Girl.
Clearwater Cast of Characters is always looking for people who want to be involved, both on stage and behind the scenes. Anyone interested is encouraged to contact Donna Stai at 320-493-1941, or message the group through their Facebook page, Facebook.com/clearwatercastofcharacters. Auditions traditionally start in December and practice starts two days a week in January.