RUMFORD — Mix together a batch of fruitcakes, three dozen Christmas trees, 10,000 outdoor Christmas lights, a chicken pox epidemic, two southern spinsters, an estranged old man, a lost cat named Tutti-Frutti and a Christmas hog named Buster and the result is a story of alienation, understanding and reconciliation.

Into this world will come Jamie, a kid who has run away from home and come as far as his money will take him. At first, he thinks this town’s inhabitants are “nuttier than fruitcakes,” but soon he comes to admire, appreciate and adore this nutty little town.

“FrUiTCaKeS,” a comedy by Julian Wiles, will provide the audience at 49 Franklin with a heaping helping of holiday warmth and Christmas cheer.

Cindy Grassette directs a cast of 23 in what is being called 49 Franklin’s biggest production yet. “I looked for a fun, family comedy that not many people had heard about,” Grassette said. “Although the story takes place in the south, many of the characters are identifiable to our community here in the Rumford area. I know people will get a kick out of this,” she said. 

The cast includes, Eric Schmersal as Mack, Brayden Duguay as Jamie, Nick Graham as Beebo,  Jennifer Foster as Betty Jane, Logan Graham as Little Beebo, Liam Graham as Little little Beebo, Ivy Houghton as  Sally, Gail Parent as Miss Sarah, Margaret Donaghue as Miss Alice, Zac Calden as Skeeter, Tammy Schmersal as Mattie Sue, Tom LeClerc as Rick, Ayden Timberlake as James and Little Larry, Lily True as Meredith, Noah Prescott Sammy, Faith Riddick as Laura, Virginia Owings as Joanie, Alana Gotto as Amy, Ridgie Duguay as Ron, Tucker Hamner as Don, Travis Welch as Frances, William Frazel as Little Skeeter, and David Frazel as Little Billy.

Performances will take place at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17. Tickets are $15 day of show and $12 in advance, available at Bartash’s and All That Jazz in Rumford and online. 

Doors will open 30 minutes prior to showtimes, and holiday snacks and drinks will be available for purchase. Audience members should enter at the right side of the building, all the way to the back to the Mystic Theater.

FMI, tickets: www.49franklin.com. 

Jen Foster, center, playing Betty Jane directs the community Christmas pageant to be held at Mack’s Whirligig Emporium. Performers are, from left, Logan Graham as Little Beebo, Brayden Duguay as Jamie, Foster, Faith Riddick is Laura and Virginia Owings is Joanie; and, in the barn window, Ivy Houghton as Sally and Alana Gotto as Amy. 

Zac Calden, left, who plays Skeeter, recites a poem while Eric Schmersal, center, playing Mack and Brayden Duguay playing Jamie listen on.


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