www.johnsonpublications.zenfolio.com Brooke Robertson | Johnson Publications
The cast for the upcoming dinner theatre of “You Can’t Beat the House” includes (front row, l-r): Julie Sestak, Brandon Lehl and Adair Reese. Back row: Mark Hunter, Alyson Carlson, Ben Polson, Shar Hansen, Jana Turner, Phillip Picquet and Nora Jameson.

Dinner theatre to benefit aquatic center

For the first time since 2013, the community will be treated to an evening of entertainment with a dinner theatre, taking place March 23-25.

The Perkins County High School multi-purpose room doors will open at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24, with dinner served at 6 p.m. 

Presented by the Perkins County Pool Project Committee under the direction of Sally Shiers, the performance of “You Can’t Beat the House” will begin at approximately 7 p.m. both nights. 

A 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 25 will include popcorn and water.

“You Can’t Beat the House” features talent of the 10 following local actors and actresses:

Ben Polson—Merle, an amiable, but not very good burglar

Mark Hunter—Howie, Merle’s partner, thinks with his heart 

Phillip Picquet—Conrad Spears, a young married insurance man

Shar Hansen—Glenda Spears, Conrad’s wife who has a secret

 Nora Jameson—Courtney Parfait, a well-coiffed real estate agent 

Brandon Lehl—Officer Milo Larraby, a not-too-bright police officer

Adair Reese—Lillian, Glenda’s pushy mother

Alyson Carlson—Madame Zenobia, a wise-cracking spiritual medium

Jana Turner—Brittany Marie, Conrad’s dumb secretary. 

Julie Sestak—Fern Larraby, officer’s crabby overbearing mother

 Picquet, Turner and Lehl, will be making their acting debuts.

In the comedy, two minor-league burglars, Howie and Merle, meet their match after breaking into a house that’s for sale.

Before they can leave, prospective buyers Conrad and Glenda arrive, forcing Merle and Howie to act as real estate agents to avoid the police.

Merle begins to show the house while Howie ducks out to get the car. Now the REAL real estate agent shows up and Merle has to juggle the couple and the agent. 

Finally, as Merle gets rid of the agent and is about to show Conrad and Glenda to the door, Howie arrives with the news that their car has been towed. To make matters worse, a cop arrives saying the police are looking for two suspicious characters in the neighborhood. 

In the parade of oddball characters in what turns out to be a haunted house is Conrad’s secretary, a crazy cat lady, Glenda’s mother and her medium, Madame Zenobia. 

Shiers, who has directed seven other plays, said she read through about 30 different plays searching for the perfect one. 

“When I read through this one, I just laughed,” she said. 

After reading three full scripts of different plays, “You Can’t Beat the House” was the winner. 

Shiers said she still laughs watching the cast rehearse, even after seeing it dozens of times.

The cast and crew have been working hard for several months to prepare for the big event. Shiers said each of the characters will have put in 100 hours of volunteer time. 

Marlene Pritchett, Kathy Salsman, Denny Hansen, Lisa and Randy Schmitt and Ted Shiers have helped behind-the-scenes, acquiring props, setting up the stage and helping where needed. 

Perkins County Schools woods class built the walls for the set and senior art students painted the mural. 

Matthew Chandler-Smith is in charge of lights and sound and Shae Rogge will be doing make-up.


Funds raised from the dinner theatre will benefit the Perkins County aquatic center.

The menu, provided by Hilltop Inn, will consist of roast beef, cheesy potatoes, bacon green beans, dinner roll and cake. Fish may be requested for Friday at the time tickets are reserved. 

To reserve tickets for Friday or Saturday, contact Lisa Schmitt at Adams Bank & Trust in Grant or Brittany Brott at 308-352-6191. 

There will be no pre-sale for Sunday’s matinee. 

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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Grant NE 69140