RAAPA playing for ‘Laffs’ at annual meeting


RUMFORD — “Laffing Room Only,” a two-act play centering around a decrepit Vermont country inn where a sting operation is being held to nab the burglars who are hitting the area, will be performed at the 14th annual dinner of the Rumford Association for the Advancement of the Performing Arts (RAAPA) on April 30 and May 1.

Scheduled to be held at the Eagles Hall in Rumford, seating at the event is limited and by advance reservation only. Tickets are $30 per person.  Reservations can be made with Anita Murphy at 360-0205 or with any current cast member.  Tickets include hors d’oeuvres, hot buffet dinner, dessert, hot beverage, tax and tip plus the entertainment. A cash bar will be available.

For the past 13 years the actors have presented two or three one-act plays but this year Director Judith Kuhn has chosen one two-act play. In “Laffing Room Only,” Gloria Alexander (Nancy Demings) is the owner of the inn and Jim Robertson plays Eben Putney, her crusty handyman. Quite an array of characters show up with items to sell including: Irma (Gail Parent) the bag lady with some strange- smelling “treasures;” two sisters (Susan DeRoehn and Kelly Harvell) with silverware and Rondo Muldoon (Wayne Landry), a hoodlum with two arms laden with expensive watches and a “borrowed” RV. The two people pretending to be fences for the stolen goods are actually representatives from the state attorney general’s office Falbo (Al Hanington) and Vicki Cunningham (Connie Venskus.) Completing the cast are Wilma Potaine (Anita Murphy) an insurance investigator and Mrs. Martin (Mary Hickey) a wealthy socialite who is missing a diamond necklace. As with any farce-comedy there are many turns and surprising identities.

Preceding the play, the RAAPA Chorus, under the direction of Kuhn, will present a mini-concert of music from the movies, including classics, Academy Award winners and other favorites. Some of the songs are: “Thanks for the Memories,” “You Made Me Love You,” “Happy Trails,” “Moon River,”  “Under the Sea,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “Rhythm of Life” and “The Pink Panther.”  Gail Dorr will accompany the chorus.

Working behind the scenes will be Anita Murphy, reservations and table settings; Wayne Landry, set design and construction; Michelle Larsen, stage managing; Sara Perry and Steve Borstelmann, publicity; Martha Hanington, prompter; Brandon Archibald, lighting and sound; and Connie Venskus, costumes.