Opening the Vault – Summer of 2005

As published by the Tillamook Headlight Herald in the summer of 2005

Curtain rises on TAPA play

TILLAMOOK — The Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts, TLC Federal Credit Union and Prudential NW Properties are bringing to Tillamook Neil Simon’s adult comedy “The Prisoner of Second Avenue.” Join TAPA at the newly painted Barn Community Playhouse on 12th and Ivy in downtown Tillamook and join in the hilarity of the modern story of lost jobs, robbed apartments, peculiar in-laws and a bout with a nervous breakdown.

Between the stink of garbage, chronic indigestion and abnoxious neighbors, life for Mel Edison, played by TAPA veteran Mark Johnson, isn’t going well … and it’s only going to get worse. After losing his job of 22 years and having his apartment robbed, Mel’s neurosis get the best of him. Edna, his wife, portrayed by Julie Bucknam, calls on the best doctor and the dubious support of Mel’s siblings to help him through his nervous breakdown.

In the words of Neil Simon, “The play opened in New York in November 1971. In my opinion, I could have written it about the New York of 1999. With giant mergers of corporations, thousands of employees have lost their jobs. Paper-thin walls of apartment houses bring every sound of your neighbors into your bedroom, the clanging of garbage cans being collected at four O’ Clock in the morning rattles your nerves. Nervous breakdowns must have been around since the Renaissance. The more we change, the more we stay the same.”

TAPA welcomes back Wally Nelson as Mel’s older brother, Harry, and Frances Emory and Margaret Page as sisters Pearl and Pauline and introduces Terri Winkle as the overwrought sister Jessie.

Direction provided by Charter Member, Becki Wilhelm, last seen in the director’s chair with “Deathtrap.”

“One of the most dedicated casts I’ve worked with, they truly capture both the humor and the sometimes darkness of Simon’s script. I think you’ll be amazed and delighted with them,” said Wilhelm.

Other members backstage include Amy Rangel, producer; Bill Farnum, lights and sound; Carlotta Hoffart and Janet Trueblood, stage hands; Linda Williams, set design; and Alex Rangel and Ken Phillips, set construction.

The 2005-06 season is a celebration of TAPA’s 25th anniversary of bringing the performing arts to Tillamook County.

Shows run Sept. 30 through Oct. 15, Friday and Saturday nights at 7, and Sunday, Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. Advance tickets are available at The Bootery in downtown Tillamook or at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7.50 for students/seniors.

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