What happens when a dinner guest extends his welcome? Danville Area Community College’s performing arts students will reveal the comedic results during their fall production of “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”
The college’s liberal arts division and the DACC Players will present the play at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, in the Bremer Theater on DACC’s campus. A matinee for senior citizens is set for 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21.
DACC instructor Glenda Boling, who co-directs the play with fellow DACC instructor Phillip Langley, said, “It’s a great play. It’s set in the 1940s in a town in Ohio.”
Langley said he always thought about the DACC Players performing “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” which also is a classic film from the 1940s starring Bette Davis.
“It’s set at Christmastime, and you can take the characters and really expand them,” he said.
Boling said, “It also plays into the notion of having the perfect Christmas that never really happens.”
The main character, Sheridan Whiteside, portrayed by Blake Berenz, is a famous radio personality who goes to dinner at the home of the Stanleys, a wealthy family.
As Whiteside leaves the home, however, he slips on their doorstep and breaks his hip. A tumultuous six weeks of confinement follow. The Stanley living room is monopolized by the irascible invalid; ex-convicts are invited to meals; and transatlantic calls bring a $784 phone bill.
The arrival of strange gifts from Whiteside’s friends – such as penguins in the library, an octopus in the cellar and 10,000 cockroaches in the kitchen – further destroys the domestic tranquility at the Stanleys.
“He falls and then he never leaves,” Boling said. “The people who surround him really make the play ... the characters that come to see him.
“Four characters are truly characters that bring a lot of comedy to the play,” she said.