CCRI Players ‘The Spitfire Grill’ opens Thursday at Hackett Theater


The Community College of Rhode Island Players will present “The Spitfire Grill,” an intimate and heartening musical by James Valcq and Fred Alley, from this Thursday to Sunday, in the Bobby Hackett Theater at the Knight Campus, 400 East Ave., Warwick.

“The Spitfire Grill” follows the story of Percy Talbot, a young woman who has just been released from a five-year prison sentence for manslaughter. She is trying to find a place for a fresh start and, based on a page from an old travel book, travels to the small town of Gilead, Wis. The local sheriff, Joe Sutter, who is also Percy’s parole officer, finds her a job at Hannah Ferguson’s Spitfire Grill – the only eatery in this struggling town.

The Spitfire Grill has long been for sale, under the auspices of the local real estate office run by Hannah’s nephew, Caleb Thorpe. But with no interested buyers, Hannah, prompted by Percy and Caleb’s wife, Shelby, decides to raffle it off. The entry fee is $100 and the best essay on why the entrant wants the grill wins. Soon, despite the skepticism of Caleb and town busybody Effy Krayneck, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow full and things are definitely getting hot at the Spitfire Grill. This musical triumph is an inspiring celebration of fresh starts, redemption and the power of what one person can accomplish.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 5 to 7, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8. Professor Bert Silverberg will direct the production with musical direction by Dr. Audrey Kaiser. Set design is by Luke Sutherland, costume design by Jeffrey A. Butterworth, and lighting design by guest artist Tyler M. Perry. Amanda Beaton of Providence is the stage manager.

The cast includes Elizabeth Souin of Cranston as Percy, Lauren Ferreira of Cranston as Hannah, Audrey Lavin Crawley of Woonsocket as Shelby, Brayam Renovales of Providence as Joe, Raymond Fournier of Riverside as Caleb, Victoria Albin of North Kingstown as Effy, and Alexander Battista of Johnston as the Visitor.

Reserved-seat tickets cost $12 for the general public and $10 for students and senior citizens. Telephone reservations may be made by calling 825-2219 at any time.


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