|Sarah Garcia in The Spitfire Grill (Robert Wade)|
The Spitfire Grill
through April 30, 2022
The Spitfire Grill
is a feel-good musical. It’s a little
schmaltzy with heart-tuggy, yearning songs (think Judy Garland singing Somewhere
Over the Rainbow
only not quite that classical a song) but ultimately it’s
also accessible and fun and ends on a note that you can walk out of the theater
feeling satisfied at the journey.
It’s a natural for Taproot. They’ve done it before, in 2003,
when it was newer. But it hasn’t lost its sweetness or appeal in ensuing years.
A young woman, Percy (Sarah Garcia
) who has nowhere to connect to after
five years in prison has circled a tiny article about Gilead, Wisconsin, and
gets on a bus to a place she hopes will be all that she dreamed. She’s guided
to the Spitfire, where there’s a room to stay and a job helping out.
Of course, the curmudgeonly proprietor, Hannah (Pam Nolte
warms to Percy over time. Of course the townies (Effy played by Marlette
, Caleb played by Brian Pucheu
, and the Sheriff played by Fune
) are suspicious, but get used to Percy. Caleb’s wife Shelby (Kelly
) comes to help at the Grill – against Caleb’s wishes – when Hannah
trips and breaks her leg.
When Percy finds out Hannah’s been trying to sell the Grill
for years, she comes up with a raffle where people can send $100 and an essay
about why they should “win” the Grill. Somehow, her advertisement finds a viral
audience and they’re flooded with raffle entries. The town itself even gets
some recognition and tourists begin to come. Suddenly, this downtrodden little
town is feeling spiffy. And there’s a small subplot mystery about Hannah’s son
(played by Chip Wood
It's a lovely cast. The newcomer, Sarah Garcia, to our fair
city makes quite a terrific impression. There’s something so naturally
appealing in her as an actress (that can’t be taught) that draws your
attention. Since she’s on stage almost the whole time, she “makes” the play.
And when she and Karcher sing, their voices blend beautifully.
So… go and have a good time, especially if you really need a
break from the horrid world events and want to participate in the collective
fantasy at Taproot.