The Vienna Historical Society will present humorous plays which portray the foibles and eccentricities of small-town life. The performances will take place in Vienna Union Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 23 and 24; and at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, July 25.

As in past years, Brent Smith, of Farmington, will begin by leading participants in old-time songs, and perhaps a dance or two. Ellie Andrews, of Fayette, will accompany on piano.

“Grandpa’s Foxtrot,” is adapted by Cheryl Herr-Rains from a 1920s play by Walter Ben Hare, and co-directed by Dodi Thompson and Herr-Rains. The cast includes Leah Hayes, Tom Ward, Jane Rogers, Ridgely Fuller, Rocio Carey, Dan Simons, Chris Crocker, Jacqueline Rogers and Don Peterson.

When Grandpa pays a surprise visit, Monte strives to maintain his allowance from his grandfather by “borrowing” his friend’s wife, house and fashionable dancing academy. The hoax is extended indefinitely, when the entire group must be quarantined due to a suspected outbreak of small pox. Who is who, and whose is whose, becomes clearer as the partners learn to dance their way out of the dilemma.

The second play of the evening, “Nellie Bell’s Lodge,” is set at a Vienna farmhouse in the early 1920s. It was written by Beverly Wight Smith, who plays the title role of Nellie Bell. The cast also includes, Steve Mallen, Carole O’Connell, Judy Dunn, Clyde Dyar, Ellie Andrews, Kitty Gee, Pam Bean, Allan Harville, Linda Bragdon, Barbara Gilman and Dan Huettner, and is directed by Carole O’Connell.

Nellie Bell, an unmarried woman, has converted her farmhouse into a guest lodge to supplement her income. Her new guests include several well-bred people from Boston, as well as a farmer on his way back home from selling a herd of cattle. The restful atmosphere of the lodge is interrupted by a purse snatching, and further complicated by a late arrival’s — (Frances or is it Francis?) — mistaken gender identity. After all the confusion is sorted out, lodge life works out swell for all concerned, and once again, love blooms in Vienna.

Admission cost $6 and refreshments will be provided by the Mill Stream Grange.


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