‘Stoga theatre presents “The Man Who Came to Dinner”

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By Kate Phillips, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week, hundreds of audience members enjoyed “The Man Who Came To Dinner,” Conestoga’s 2019 fall drama.

The show was a true comedy, and it had audience members laughing every few minutes. Set in a small Ohio town in December, wealthy entrepreneur Sheridan Whiteside (played by JP Infortuna) comes to the Stanley family mansion for dinner, where he slips and falls on a patch of ice on their front door. Forced to stay in the house in a wheelchair to recover, the story escalates as his secretary Maggie Cutler (played by Becca Irwin) falls in love with a newspaper reporter named Bert Jefferson (played by Ethan Overton.) Unwilling to lose his secretary to marriage, Whiteside invites eccentric and rich Lorraine Sheldon (played by Claire Jenkins) to seduce the newspaper man, much to Maggie’s dismay. The fighting within this love tangle combined with the annoyance of the Stanley household as Whiteside takes over their lives is even more enjoyable when spiced up with many laughter-inducing rants and insults.

Furthermore, Mr. Stanley’s strange sister, Harriet Stanley, (played by Deirdre Cuniffe) makes several appearances and exits each time with a signature glide with outstretched hands, yet another comedic element to the play. In the last scenes, we find out that she is actually an ax murderer, a fact that Whiteside uses to force Mr. Stanley into helping him and his quirky friend Banjo (played by Will Dusinberre) get Lorraine out of the house (after feeling guilty for ruining Maggie’s romance).

One of the most comedic scenes in the play that definitely received the loudest laughter and clapping was the scene where Bert returned drunk after a night out with Lorraine. While Maggie was sobbing in the corner and Whiteside having somewhat of a mental breakdown, the newspaper man exclaimed, “Let’s go jump down chimneys! I have a friend who doesn’t believe in Santa!”

Overall, “The Man Who Came To Dinner” was a great work of comedic entertainment, and the hard work and passion that went into the production was clear.


Kate Phillips can be reached at [email protected]