Earlier this week, I had received an invitation to come and see a dress rehearsal of "The Black Mask" - which is running for two encore performances Friday and Saturday, Sept 15 and 16, with curtain at 8 p.m.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Earlier this week, I had received an invitation to come and see a dress rehearsal of "The Black Mask" - which is running for two encore performances Friday and Saturday, Sept 15 and 16, with curtain at 8 p.m.
The play was authored by Bedford, Pennsylvania, resident Don Llewellyn, who also is the secretary/treasurer on the theatre's board of directors. Now, who would imagine a dairy farmer sitting down to pen the adult-oriented comical fantasy?
Here's how it goes: Four married women of various ages and temperaments are meeting at a coffee shop to discuss the plans for the upcoming Cupcake Festival at their church. The conversation quickly turns to laments about their personal lives. All seem to be willing to try something different to add some zest into their relationships. Hence, the suggestion arises to try “The Black Mask” bedroom game: a provocative, mysterious fantasy to inspire their loved ones, and gain some much needed personal satisfaction.
These two encore performances are back by popular request after the premiere of "The Black Mask" earlier in the season. A few of the cast members have been changed due to scheduling conflicts, but the story is just as funny.
The play starts off with the girls planning the Cupcake Festival, but soon turns to personal discussions about their relationships with their spouses. Brett Reel plays the waiter at Ricky's Risque Coffee Shop, and the girls soon recognize that the waiter's charms are well worth noticing. It doesn't take Brett long to realize the ladies find him quite interesting. He plays the waiter with nervous naivety.
The stage is set up into two sections, with lighting accenting which scene is in play. When the ladies are "oogling" the waiter at the restaurant, the bedroom scenery stage right is darkened. When their spouses each take the stage in the bedroom, the coffee shop and ladies are stilled and frozen. This clever way of producing the play works perfectly in the intimate ambiance of Embassy - which was originally built in 1931 in the midst of the Great Depression.
I can't give away the hilarious antics that take place in this production, but there are times while watching these actors, all of whom I have seen in other local productions, that they do and say the funniest things!
There is "Mister Rogers" - I heard him mentioned numerous times since the premiere performances, but had no idea who he was until I saw him for myself! And the ladies in the coffee shop - when Patricia Jankey introduces Mr. Rogers - hilarity ensues!
Matt Armentrout played the perfect husband - content in his life without having to worry about change and surprises - quickly comes to realize the black mask game is coming his way, and he wants no part of his wife's whims! He's really great in this scene!
Then there's Tim Bambara - like Brett, Danise, Chelsea, Whitney and Scott - he has been on various stages this year, and he always plays his characters perfectly. In this production, he's all business - the workaholic type - and Danise comes in and takes charge of his life...with a little spice.
The author did a terrific job writing this adult-themed play, and the cast has worked hard on the timing of the costume changes and delivery of their lines to hit the comedic tone of the play
If you want to get out this weekend for some comedy and farcical theatre, Embassy Theatre is where to be!
The cast is as follows:
Molly.....Whitney Nicole O’Haver
Missy.....Chelsea Conley
Danielle.....Danise Whitlock
Zell.....Patricia Jankey
Waiter (Jake).....Brett Reel
Walter.....Matt Armentrout
Billy.....Mike Miller    
Darren.....Tim Bambara
Harry.....Scott Foard
Director.....Jerard Puckett
Author.....Don Llewellyn
Costumer.....Danise Whitlock