It’s an ages-old story.
A kid from the Midwest sets out for New York with a dream of finding fame and fortune.
In the Valley Theater Company’s production of Mixed Nuts, which opens Aug. 7 in Prosser, the familiar tale gets a bit of a zany spin.
The protagonist Michael, an aspiring writer, befriends the colorful residents of his apartment building — the “mixed nuts” of the show’s title — on his way to finding success with the pen.
“It’s a really lighthearted comedy, with a young cast,” said Rex Olsen, the show’s director. “(Michael) also falls in love. It’s a romantic comedy.”
Set in the 1970s, Olsen said the play will bring a smile to those audience members who lived through that era, with references to things like “uncola” — a breakthrough slogan for 7-Up. It has laughs for younger show-goers too.
“(People) should come out if they want a night of sheer enjoyment, to let the real world go away for a while,” Olsen said.
He’s making his Valley Theater Company directorial debut with Mixed Nuts, although he has plenty of experience in the theater world. He’s worked with Richland Players and spent years coaching the drama club at Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, where his wife was the drama teacher.
Olsen said the Mixed Nuts cast is skilled and energetic.
Sawyer Schilperoort stars as Michael — with Joseph Charvet playing his alter-ego Mike. Emily Lansing is Russian dancer Tanya, and Joshua Lansing is TV commercial actor Marshall.
Ann Glover plays Michael’s mom, Zoë Wilson plays aspiring actress Philomena Della Vecchia and Courtney Fredericks plays the model, Heather.
The show is at the Princess Theatre, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7-8 and 14-15.
Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors ages 65 and older. They’re available at www.ThePrincessTheatre.net, at the theater and at Adventures Underground in Richland; Patnode’s True Value Hardware in Benton City; Bonnie’s Vine & Gift in Prosser; Bleyhl Farm Service in Grandview; and Mélange in Sunnyside.
The Princess Theatre is at 1228 Meade Ave.