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Center on the Square to present Hocus Pocus
Center on the Square, 111 W. Arch Street, continues its twelfth magical season during the month of October with the British comedy by Jack Popplewell “Hocus Pocus”. The community theater on Searcy’s historic court square has selected this story about identical twin brothers who pull a magic switcheroo to avoid the wrath of creditors and find they have more in common than they realized.
“The real magic of the production,” said the Center’s Executive Director, “is watching the same actor play both brothers. Dale Ellis is one of our most requested performers, and his fans are going to love this show. He plays the reserved Simon and the outgoing Peter equally well, and it’s worth the price of the ticket to see him switching back and forth, leaving stage right as Simon and re-entering moments later stage left as Peter. It’s the magic of theater at its best.”
Dinner performances of “Hocus Pocus” are scheduled for October 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16. Pizza Playhouse will be October 7. The doors open at 6:15 each night, with the dinner buffet beginning at 6:30 p.m. and curtain one hour later. A Sunday, October 17 performance will be a matinee with lunch at 12:30 p.m. and curtain one hour later. Admission prices are $27 for dinner and the show and $24 for seniors. Pizza Playhouse is $18 per person. For the Sunday matinee, admission is $24 for dinner and the show and $21 for seniors. Reservations for dinner are required 24 hours in advance of the show, and can be made by calling 501-368-0111 or online at www.centeronthesquare.org. Show-only tickets are sold as available 15 minutes before curtain for $13.50 or $10 for seniors and students.
First Community Bank is the Presenting Sponsor, while Henard Utility serves as the Associate Sponsor. Chesapeake Energy continues its season sponsorship of Center on the Square activities.
The show concerns Simon Ross (Dale Ellis), a small town vicar with a bank account not quite as big as his heart. When the bills for his planned renovation of the church threaten to tumble him into the fiery pits of bankruptcy, he calls on his scoundrel of a twin brother, Peter Ross (Dale Ellis) to fix his accounts. Peter, a financier, is having troubles of his own, and with his latest scheme going down in flames, Peter decides that the best course of action is for Simon and himself to switch lives for a week.
What follows are a series of comic complications as Simon’s devout honesty and Peter’s theatrical trickery cast a magic spell over both their personal troubles and their respective women, the repressed Janet (Lauren Lawson) and glamorous Bella (Hilary Polston). Dorothy Hatfield, Ann Nieto, Skye Ferrell, and Ryan Hoyle round out the cast.
“It’s a sweet, simple little show, but it’s got a wonderful message at heart,” remarks director Ryan Hoyle. “It’s all about finding out who you are and what you could really be capable of. Simon starts the show very honest, but timid as a mouse, while Peter is very outgoing and charismatic but a cheat and a liar. The transformation they both undergo during the play is inspiring, and Dale portrays it perfectly. Also, it’s all drop dead hilarious!”
As usual the Center will offer wonderful dinner by some of the area’s best caterers and continues the perennial favorite Thursday evening event, Pizza Playhouse, which provides a fun way to see shows at a discounted rate. For more information or to make reservations, call 501-368-0111 or visit www.centeronthesquare.org.
The Performing Arts Center on the Square is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to the expansion and appreciation of the performing arts in the region. Contributions are welcome and are tax-deductible. Center on the Square is supported in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of the Arkansas Department of Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Center on the Square is handicapped accessible for all performances and interpretation for the deaf is available at the Thursday evening performance of the show by request.