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Wine has never been more fun

Marilyn Forbes | For The Independent-Observer
This is the entire cast of “Drinking Habits,' playing March 14-17 bat the Geyer Performing Arfts Center. Front row, from left, are: Ben Pimental and Mandy Onder. Second row, from left, are Becky Halfhill and John McCann and back row, from left, are Kat Post, Roger Rhodes, Bethany Kerns and Brad Geyer.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

This year is a celebration of anniversaries and reunions at the Geyer Performing Arts Center, as the theater is marking its 25th year since reopening and will soon be staging a fun and lively comedy that will be a reunion for the cast of veteran actors who appeared in the same production six years ago.

“Drinking Habits” will be staged from March 14-17 at the theater, and directors Martha Oliver and Richard Means contacted the original cast to reunite once again to perform the fun show.

The show, which features a convent of sisters, with a little wine making and mistaken identity added to it, is a fast-paced and fun show that is sure to get audiences on the edges of their seats as they wait to see what could possibly happen next.

“It's a really funny show,” Bethany Kerns said, adding that she has not done any shows at the theater for a number of years. “They contacted me, and I couldn't say no.”

The only new face in the cast will that of Ben Pimental of Mt. Pleasant, who will be filling the role originated by Steve Diebert, who is no longer in the area.

“I feel incredibly honored to have been chosen to join this cast,” Pimental said. “Especially since the whole cast has done the show before, so I am kind of playing catch-up to try to be on the same level as them.”

Oliver added they are pleased with Pimental's adaptation of the role.

“Ben is doing a wonderful job,” Oliver said. “I'm very pleased with how he is doing.”

Others in the cast, such as Roger Rhodes, made their stage debut in the original show and are looking forward to the reunion.

“It was my first show at the theater. I did the senior play in high school, then took 28 years off,” Rhodes said of the original staging of the show. “Usually when a show ends, that is the last time that that group of people will be together in that capacity. It's sad. To be reunited with this group for this show has been wonderful.”

Although the show was done before with the same cast, members of the show say that audiences will love the show, even those who saw it the first time around.

“I've noticed that everyone is bringing a fresh approach to it, which is just great,” Oliver said.

Kerns added the experience of the cast also is a factor as to how they are presenting the show.

“We are all six years older now,” Kerns said. “I think that we will be bringing a different approach to a lot of the material. When we first got together and read the show again, we laughed and laughed but what is interesting is, there are some parts of it that we are seeing differently now. It's going to be great.”

The show, although mild in nature, may not be appropriate for very young children.

“Drinking Habits” will be staged from March 14-17 with show times being 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. All tickets will be $10. For information, call 724-887-0887

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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