Weekender

Millbrook Playhouse cooks up comedy with ‘The Kitchen Witches’

Marc de la Concha, left, and Shannon Agnew star in Millbrook Playhouse’s “The Kitchen Witches.”
Marc de la Concha, left, and Shannon Agnew star in Millbrook Playhouse’s “The Kitchen Witches.” Photo provided

Millbrook Playhouse aims to brew up delicious fun with its next production of the summer season, “The Kitchen Witches,” opening in the Poorman Cabaret on Aug. 5.

The award-winning comedy, written by Caroline Smith, revolves around Isobel Lomax and Dolly Biddle, two cable access cooking show hostesses who have hated each other for more than 30 years. When circumstances put them together on a TV show called “The Kitchen Witches,” the insults are flung harder than the food as the ladies manage to top both Martha Stewart and Jerry Springer.

Biddle’s long-suffering TV-producer son, Stephen, tries to keep them on track, but as long as Biddle’s dressing room is one inch closer to the set than Lomax’s, it’s a losing battle, and the show becomes a rating smash.

“The Kitchen Witches” is directed by and stars Millbrook favorite Marc de la Concha as Lomax and another popular Millbrook regular, Shannon Agnew as Biddle. Also featured are newcomers Eric W. Schutt as Stephen Biddle and Joshua Hornback as Rob the Camera Guy.

Biddle is a 60-something local television personality who is a kind and creative spirit, with a tendency to let her primal brain run her life.

“Isobel Lomax, her arch rival, often riles her up past the point of any normal social interaction, which is where our kooky comedy comes into play,” Agnew said. “I relate to her, her love of her son and family, and her protective nature over the ones she loves.”

While “The Kitchen Witches” may be a wild comedy, it’s mixed with the craziness is a sweet story of a family finding its identity.

“While all our characters engage in over-the-top battles and comedic bits, we all ultimately follow an arc to forgiveness and family,” Agnew said. “We cannot wait for the community to join us for some good food, some good fun and some family time with our unconventional stage family.”

De la Concha directs the play in addition to his acting role. Lomax has enjoyed a successful career, including her own show “Busy Izzy.”

“She likes people to think that she has a much classier background than reality supports, but at heart she is a bright, funny and articulate woman,” he said. “She is the villain of the show, and it has been a lot of fun to create a character like this.”

The author of the play encourages all local references in the show be changed to specific locations and sponsors of the producing theater.

“The author gives you a lot of flexibility with local sponsors and recipes, which allow you to really make the production work for your particular audience,” de la Concha said.

De la Concha hopes the audience will walk away with a smile, a newfound meaning of family and maybe even a chance to patch up a broken relationship.

“Who knows? Someone might be inclined to reach out to someone else and make amends for something in the past — the theater works in mysterious ways,” he said. “The show is funny and entertaining, and I think everyone who comes will have a great time.”

IF YOU GO

  • What: Millbrook Playhouse’s “The Kitchen Witches”
  • When: Aug. 5-14
  • Where: Millbrook Playhouse, 258 Country Club Lane, Mill Hall
  • Info: www.millbrookplayhouse.net
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