(Le Mars) – Love plays by Neil Simon? Then you’re in luck! The second show of the Le Mars Community Theatres season is “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” in which playwright Neil Simon takes a fictionalized look at the backstage chaos that went into producing one of the biggest shows in television back in the 1950’s.
The play, which opens this Monday, is a fictionalized look into the real life experience Simon had as a writer on Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows,” a live, 90 minute variety show that aired from 1950-54. The nine cast members in the stage play represent writers and actors inspired by his real colleagues.
Playing the character Ira, inspired by Mel Brooks, is retired Le Mars elementary school teacher Renae Buss. Coming into auditions she knew LCT director, Jeff Neary, and was elated to be cast in a role- even if that meant playing a role meant for a man.
Renae was involved in theater in high school and college and also spent a lot of time in her younger years performing as a mime. She said the biggest challenge of getting back on stage has been memorizing lines, but character development has been an enjoyable process.
Under the direction of Jeff Neary, with assistance from Joe Ouradnick as producer, Renae says being on stage again has been a true joy.
In addition to Renae Buss, there are lots of new players on stage this time around at LCT. Jesse Olson and Jamie Hauser are both cutting their teeth on this show and proving to be a good fit on the Postal Playhouse stage. Aaron Hauser is new to this stage, but has been in front of an audience in theater, speech and choir during his recent years at Le Mars Community High School. Also in the cast are Beth Odor and Ryan Odor, performance veterans who have done a lot of work at the Spencer Community Theater. “Laughter” is their first performance here in Le Mars.
And, of course, you’ll see some familiar faces including: Bob Hill, George New and Hilma Person.
“Laughter on the 23rd Floor” runs on LCT’s Postal Playhouse stage Monday April 4th through Sunday April 10th. Tickets are available for all performances and can be purchased online by visiting www.lemarslive.org and clicking on “Buy Tickets.”
Showtimes are 7:30pm, with a Sunday matinee at 2.