(Second Press Release)
Fort Defiance Players’ dinner theater production of “The Taffetas” features four singing sisters from Muncie, Indiana: Kaye, Peggy, Donna, and Cheryl. Their father is an engineer and their mother a music teacher. They are appearing on their first television show, hoping to make it all the way to the Ed Sullivan show, resplendent in their crinolines and pastel dresses—made by their mother from Ladies Home Journal patterns. And they do their own hair as well as their makeup!
In actuality, the four singing sisters are four local ladies: Kate Schultz Smolik, Kristen Wendell, Rebecka Font, and Janice Johansen. These four young ladies have the joy of singing many of the hits of the 1950’s and 60’s, while layering on the nostalgic memories of those much more innocent times. Performances are July 31, and August 1 – 3. However, Saturday, August 2 is completely sold out. There are a few seats left for Friday, August 1. Good seating remains for the Thursday, July 31, show and the Sunday matinee, August 3.
Kaye is played by Kate Schultz Smolik, a local high school English teacher. Returning to the stage in Defiance, Smolik was seen in several shows while a DHS student. She appeared in FDP’s “Oliver,” “Guys & Dolls,””Sound of Music” (Leisl), and HMS Pinafore.” She was in DHS’s “Damn Yankees.” She says that, as the oldest sister (Smolik is the oldest of four children in her family as well), Kaye “likes to organize the group’s personal appearance tours and lives everyday by the Taffeta motto: A smile is a crooked line that makes everything straight.”
Kristin Wendell plays Peggy and is an elementary music teaching in the Defiance schools. She was recently seen as Soupy Sue in FDP’s “Urinetown.” She appeared as a stepsister in “Into the Woods” and was Eve in Bluffton University’s production of “Children of Eden.” Unlike herself Wendell says, Peggy “likes to cook.” “She is always trying new recipes for chicken and ‘Jello surprise.’ She can’t wait to get home and get her food ready for the Ball Jar canning contest.”
Donna, the youngest of the four sisters, is played by Rebekah Font, a student at Northwest State Community College. She was seen as Marie in FDP’s “Scarlet Pimpernel.” Donna’s main interests, says Font, “are singing and Chevrolet convertibles.” And she is having plenty of boy problems.
Janice Johansen, a veteran of many FDP productions, plays Cheryl. Johansen is a receptionist for Defiance Dental Group. She has played in many supporting roles, including Catherine in “Pippin,” Patsy in “Crazy for You,” Kate in “Pirates of Penzance,” and Martha Jefferson in “1776.” She particularly liked being the ditzy blonde, Patsy, in “Crazy for You.” Johansen says, though “Cheryl is not the oldest of the sisters, she should be,” feeling that her age would work better in a “mother and daughter” group!
The show features a full dinner that includes a choice of chicken or beef, accompanied with potatoes, green bean Almondine, salad, rolls, beverages, and a delicious summer dessert. All shows are staged in Defiance College’s Serrick Campus Center. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday seating is at 6:30 p.m., with serving at 7 p.m. and the show to follow at about 8 p.m. Sunday, August 3, seating is at 12:30 p.m., with serving at 1 p.m. and the show to follow at about 2 p.m.
Admission is by prepaid reservations only, $25 per person. To make reservations for the seating remaining, call 419 782-PLAY. The show is directed by Jane Burke. Ned Clark is the pianist, Dick Stroede is bassist, and Fred Gruber is percussionist. Sound design is by Mike Winners. Stage and lighting design is by Erik Johansen.
First Press Release
Posted July 21, 2008