Brook Hill School presents comedy opening Oct. 17

Published on Thursday, 10 October 2013 22:50 - Written by By Stewart Smith ssmith@tylerpaper.com

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Potholes, witches and a steak dinner await patrons of The Brook Hill School’s annual dinner theater event next week.

The school’s theater department, led by Glenn Ballard, will put on a production of East Texas playwright Pat Cook’s “You Can’t Get There From Here,” a light-hearted comedy about a big city newspaper reporter who gets stuck at a bed and breakfast with owners who make a living off scamming stranded motorists.

It doesn’t take long for the reporter to realize he’s being taken for a sucker and starts writing a hit piece about his hosts. But when he starts falling in love with one of the ladies of the bed and breakfast, things get complicated real quick.

This isn’t the first go ‘round the department has had with Cook’s material. His work is actually a recurring item at the school, most recently with “Monday Always Leads to Murder.”

“We like Pat Cook here. We’ve done several of his plays. He’s a Frankston native and we like his work,” Ballard said. “He’s got great dialogue. It’s very witty. And I tell you, it fits my kids. With educational theater, you pick what you think will serve the kids well. But also my patrons like Pat Cook.”

Ballard said the show provides a solid challenge for his students, who didn’t always “get” a lot of the humor peppered throughout Cook’s script or even his own direction.

“The role that Kelsey (Grace Kilgore) is playing, I’ve asked her to play it like Katharine Hepburn. And when I first said that, she was like, ‘Who’s Katharine Hepburn?’ So it was instructional for her to do some research into her style of acting,” Ballard said.

Still, Cook’s material nevertheless provides a solid platform regardless of familiarity.

“His plays depend heavily on witty fast-paced dialogue, and he creates some very funny stereotypical characters and character relationships that my kids can relate to,” Ballard said.

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 through 19 in the school’s auditorium, with dinner served at 6:15 p.m. The three course meal includes butternut squash soup, fire-grilled steak, bacon-wrapped grilled asparagus, sweet potato puree and pumpkin cheesecake cannoli.

Reservations are required for attendance and seating is limited. Admission ranges from $15 to $50 per person.

To reserve tickets or to sponsor a table, call 903-894-5000.