‘Home Games’ kicks off season at Theatre on the Lake
POLSON — The Port Polson Players kick off their 47th season of summer productions this week at the scenic Theatre on the Lake, adjacent to Boettcher Park in Polson.
Helmed by actors, producers and directors Karen and Neal Lewing – both Governor’s Arts Award recipients – the homegrown theatre company offers a savory season of comedy, romance and relevance.
First up is “Home Games,” a charming comedy by Tom Ziegler, July 7-24. Mert, a lonely truck dispatcher, lives with a blind cat and her father, Anton, a retired baseball player still reliving his glory days.
Mert meets Frank at night school, and as they fall in love, the daughter discovers that her dad is actually more tuned in than she ever realized. Eric Donovan joins real-life father and daughter, Players producer Neal Lewing and Anna Lewing Loehrke, who flies in from her home in Ohio to direct.
“I’m so looking forward to working with Anna on this delightful script dealing with an ‘aging’ but loving father,” says Neal. As to playing father-daughter roles, he adds wryly, “We’ve had a lot of practice.”
“Over the River and Through the Woods,” a moving comedy about family ties by Joe DiPietro, comes to the stage July 28-Aug. 7. The play, originally slated for 2020, was postponed once due to the pandemic, and again year when several cast members had scheduling conflicts.
“We’re finally forging ahead with the original four out of six actors, along with two new cast members,” says director Karen Lewing. “We’ll be ready to deliver this summer with a stellar cast!”
Nick, a young ad executive (played by Kia McDonald), takes a job across the country in Seattle. His two sets of very determined – and very Italian –grandparents try every trick in the book to get him to stay on the East Coast, including guilt, food, and matchmaking. Grandparents are played by Ron Martin-Dent and Ann Peacock and the Lewings, and Veronica Marquardt appears as the arranged blind-date.
The season wraps up Aug. 11-28 with “Driving Miss Daisy,” a play by Alfred Uhry that became an Oscar-winning film in 1989. Set in the deep South, this poignant blend of humor and pathos covers three decades of the relationship between aging Miss Daisy, a wealthy Southern belle (played by Karen Lewing), and her chauffeur, Hoke (played by J. Lee Cook). Set in the latter half of the 20th century, a deep bond develops between the two, despite their disparate backgrounds, ethnicity and politics. The comedy is intensified by Daisy’s businessman son, Booley (Mike Gillpatrick), who tries to keep the playing field level.
Director Neal Lewing worked with Cook when they were student actors at the University of Montana. He says the three-person cast delivers “just what the playwright intends – strength laced with humor, acceptance and love.”
Show times are 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. To learn more or for reservations, call 406-883-9212 or visit www.portpolsonplayers.com.