Ritz Players present 'Messiah on the Frigidaire'
Jul 11, 2012
Want to go? WHAT: “Messiah on the Frigidaire” WHEN: 7:30 p.m. July 13, 14 & 21; 2 p.m. July 22 WHERE: The Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St., Tiffin COST: $11/adult, $7/student INFO: 419-448-8544 or ritztheatre.org Late night television has seemingly made a career poking fun at regular folks and their imaginations. It seems like hardly a year goes by that someone doesn’t see a potato chip in the shape of Jesus or a chicken nugget looking like Abraham Lincoln. Naturally that person with the discerning eye for identifying famous people in their food may get 30 seconds of attention from Jay Leno, but what happens when the ante is upped in our TMZ world with no going back. John Lennon once famously said something to the effect that anonymity is like virginity, once it’s gone you’ll never get it back. Well, that’s the theme explored by The Ritz Players’ upcoming production of “Messiah on the Frigidaire,” which runs weekends July 13 through 22 at The Ritz Theatre in Tiffin. “It’s a two-act comedy about a mysterious shadow that appears on a refrigerator and they can’t decide what it is but some think it’s a sign from God so they put it in the National Investigator,” said “Messiah on the Frigidaire” Director Nancy Betz, who is also the operations director at The Ritz. “It brings in hoards of people in tents and trailers coming to worship it. They offer up communion wine and unleavened bread. They get what they wish for because they end up with so many people and they suddenly wish they could have their private lives back. It’s classified a comedy but there’s a lot of drama in it too.” In a nutshell, the small town of Elroy, South Carolina is thrust into the evangelical spotlight when what seems to be the image of Jesus appears on a refrigerator in a trailer park. The discovery by Lou Ann Hightower, her husband Dwayne, and her best friend Betsy sets into motion a frenzy of conflict, communion and good old-fashioned commerce. When the National Investigator turns the appearance into front-page headlines, the trailer park becomes a Mecca for miracle seekers, soul searchers and disciples with a decidedly political agenda. Somewhat of a rare production, “Messiah on the Frigidaire” was selected by The Ritz Theatre Play Reading Committee last year. Its selection fits into The Ritz Player’s mission, which is to provide the area with musicals, dramas, comedies and classics. “This is just a fun summer thing to do in July when the theater’s down,” Betz said. “We don’t do a lot of performing arts during the summer so this will be just a nice little theater thing to come in out of the hot weather and have a few laughs.” Having directed shows such as “Over The Tavern,” “The Glass Menagerie” and “Wait Until Dark” in the past, Betz said “Messiah on the Frigidaire” is a fun-filled production with a message that audiences should enjoy. “You’ll walk away with a good moral feeling of be careful what you wish for because sometimes you get it, and it’s not always what you were thinking you were going to get,” Betz said. “There’s a line in the play, ‘Some things that look like God really aren’t, and some things that don’t look like God really are.’ That’s kind of the premise of the whole thing as far as what the shadow represents on their refrigerator. So it makes you think.” The Ritz Players present “Messiah on the Frigidaire” at 7:30 p.m. July 13, 14 & 21 and 2 p.m. July 22 at The Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St., Tiffin. Tickets are $11/adult and $7/student. For more information, call 419-448-8544 or visit Ritztheatre.org.