There was a kinfolk comedy when the Rainy Butte Players unveiled their view of a “Hillbilly Hankerin’” Friday night at Memorial Hall in New England.
The frenzied family feud will run through Nov. 17.
At the same time, the cast will treat the audience to some “vittles” between the acts while still in costume.
With a cast of more than two dozen performers, the saga of the feudin’ goin’ on between the Herefords and the Guernseys will come to a head Friday at 7 p.m. in the New England Memorial Hall.
It will also play out again with a matinee Sunday at 2 p.m. in the hall at 925 Main Street.
The dinner theater comedy will also have showings Nov. 16 and 17, with the dinner tickets starting at $45 per person. The matinee performance will have a slightly smaller menu (appetizers and dessert) with a smaller price of $25.
There is a feud over land. There is feudin’ and fightin’ over menfolk.
It comes to a head when a group of men come looking for land to buy for the government and instead find themselves on the run from local women hoping to get hitched.
One of the government men, Marcus Slidell (Joe Hauglid), finds himself an early target, then calls in reinforcements, only to find them also being chased across the countryside by local women with a “hankerin” – both by the Hereford women and the Guernseys.
Marcus soon finds himself the target of one woman’s affection, and the lengths she would go to land her man. That is when the local “Black Widder” (Jesse Binstock) comes up with a solution for her that involves a strange assortment of items put into a small poke. The only problem, the poke has to be put around the man’s neck in order to spark a romantic feelin’, the “Widder” explains.
In the middle of all the chasin’ up and down the hollow, Pa Hereford (Aaron Marxen) tries to keep control of his daughters, the group of strange men and the man-crazed Guernseys – by shouting and wavin’ his gun around.
According to the director, Shannay Witte, the decision was made to put on the Hillbilly Hankerin’ during a road trip when they were reading possible scripts to choose from.
“We were wanting to do a western,” she said, after a recent rehearsal. “We have a company we like to go to (to select plays),” the director added. “We pick some that sound like topics we haven’t done and start reading them.”
The cast includes a lot of first-time performers. “They are all doing great,” Witte said.
The large cast of the play includes:
Adrienne Kathrein (Ma Hereford), Becky Jacobs (Freida Hereford), Adriann Doe (Betty Hereford), Kayleen Thorstenson (Liza Hereford), Faye Schiwal (Maggie Hereford), Aaron Maxsen (Pa Hereford), Teresa Neisen (Charlie Hereford), Lea Dorner (Rosemary Bickle), Adrienne Belland (Parsley Bickle), Donald Norby (Cyrus Hereford), Shannay Witte (Dandelion Blatch), Joe Hauglid (Marcus Slidell), Sara Krebs (Sara Lee Poke), Jessie Binstock (“Black Widder” Perkins), Kristina Neuharth (Maisey Hagan), Nancy Belland (Jeanie Guernsey), Abi Rohrer (Janie Guernsey), Jill Bock (Rosie Guernsey), Jody Cournoyer (Pug Guernsey), Keith Witte (Matt), Travis Allard (Alvin), Jim Pahlmeyer (Steve), Lance Jacobs (David), John Kathrein (Zeke Guernsey), Cody Garrett (Luke Guernsey) and Stephanie Witte (“Chief” Slattery).