MASON CITY | “The Big Five-Oh” is “definitely a comedy,” according to director Brian Bauer.
Or as much as a play about turning 50 can be, he added.
The show opens tonight at Mason City Community Theatre.
It centers around George Thomas, played by Mark Bonzer, who just may be having the worst week of his life.
In the week leading up to his 50th birthday, his dog is sick, his son is a slacker, and his daughter wants to marry a Republican. Plus his wife is neurotic and his widowed neighbor is providing more challenges than even George can overcome.
Whoever said life is better after 50 had better be right.
“It’s a comedy of errors,” said Sarah Raymond, adding that just when you think it can’t get worse, it does.
Raymond’s character “has traits of my mom,” said Rachel Hall. “There are so many relate-able jokes.”
Hall said she cried from laughing so hard.
Savannah Moore called it "sitcom-y," and Bauer agreed.
“There are a lot of very funny puns in this show,” he said.
Cindy Dahl said she doesn’t relate to her character “at all.”
“She’s a little different,” Dahl said. “I’ve had a lot of fun with her.”
Assistant director Suzan Koehler said Dahl’s character may be the funniest.
“Cindy came up with the “interp” for her character,” said Koehler, who is making her debut as director. She is a veteran of both MCCT and Stebens Children’s Theatre as actor, costumer and playwright.
Matt Holub and Savannah Moore play siblings.
“Matt and Savannah have the brother-sister thing down,” Dahl said.
Holub said his character is not ambitious, at least not in the way his father would like.
“He’s a happy-go-lucky kid with a heart of gold — just not very smart," Holub said. "He’s not really aware of the situation.”
Matt Kono plays Douglas, an atheist, vegetarian, and Republican.
“That’s one of my favorite characters,” Bauer said. “So wacky.”
“The Big Five-Oh” is by Brian Mitchell of Grinnell, who is expected to attend the show April 29.
“He’s such a nice guy to talk to,” Bauer said, adding that Mitchell makes a point to see his shows. Mitchell also wrote “A Mostly Minnesota Christmas,” which Bauer directed at MCCT in 2014.
Much of the current cast was in “The Curious Savage,” the previous show at MCCT. And most have acted together at one time or another.
“I’m glad this show is happening with this cast,” Bauer said. “It has been a joy to work with these actors.”