A whole new theatrical adventure

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal The newly formed Misfits Theater Group rehearses 'The Love Child' at Mia's Swiss Restaurant in Dayton Tuesday night. Director Tony Thornburg, right, runs through a dress rehearsal with, Karen Brinkoetter, left, Mark Grzebyk, and Robyn Mazy.

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal The newly formed Misfits Theater Group rehearses 'The Love Child' at Mia's Swiss Restaurant in Dayton Tuesday night. Director Tony Thornburg, right, runs through a dress rehearsal with, Karen Brinkoetter, left, Mark Grzebyk, and Robyn Mazy.

A group of Misfits has come to Dayton. Not a fan club for Marilyn Monroe's "The Misfits," which was filmed in Dayton, but a whole new theatrical adventure born just a few months ago.

Dayton's Misfits Theater Group will take the stage for its first performance this month with the production of an original melodrama, "The Love Child, or Mysteries of Cosmic Awareness."

The Misfits is the brainchild of Tony Thornburg, who also wrote "The Love Child" and directs it with help from his stage manager and wife, Kay.

Thornburg, a retired school teacher and superintendent, has been involved in community theater since the early 1970s.

"I was an actor before and did a little theater everywhere I lived. In the '70s, I stumbled on melodrama."

Eventually, he began to write his own scripts, and has now penned four or five, he said.

"'Love Child' is a takeoff on the '60s. It should be a lot of fun."

The Thornburgs, who moved to Dayton in September, advertised early this year for people interested in doing community theater.

"About 19 people showed up at the county library," he said of the group that includes students and retirees, newcomers and old-timers - all with a passion for performance.

They elected a board of directors, approved bylaws and agreed to make their first project Thornburg's 1960s melodrama.

"The Love Child" is a musical with songs from the '60s. Retired opera singer, vocal coach and Dayton resident Sarah Fleming is the musical director for the production.

Among inaugural Misfits is Karen Brinkoetter, who plays Edith Fairweather, the assistant to villain Clinton A. Truthkiller. Retired from a title insurance company, she has lived in Dayton for two years.

"I've been wanting to get involved in community theater," said Brinkoetter, who performed junior college productions years ago. "It's scary to get back into it, but it's been fun."

Carol Bauer - who performs the part of cynical Jane Throckmorton, a friend of flower-child heroine Sunshine Goldenbraiden - also responded to the Thornburgs' call.

"We had a melodrama (in Dayton) about four years ago and nothing since," said Bauer, a Chicago transplant who is semi-retired. "I came partly because it's a lot of fun and because so many people in my neighborhood are in it."

Natalie Scott is one of the younger members of the cast. As Moonbeam, she sings and serves as the card girl, instructing the audience to boo, cheer, or sigh on cue. Scott and "Love Child" heroine Robyn Mazy graduated this year from Dayton High School. She has been involved in the drama club and plays at the Carson City Community Center. Mazy has also participated in drama groups.

The melodrama's hero, Chris Kristian, has a year of high school to go and is new to the stage, but has a penchant for the melodramatic.

Mark Grzebyk, who has lived in Dayton for 31 years, is the veteran performer of The Misfits. He makes a living at UPS and has also worked in commercials. He plays villainous villain Clinton A. Truthkiller.

A partner in The Misfits is Mia's Swiss Restaurant in the historic Odeon Hall in Dayton, which has opened its upstairs reception hall for rehearsals and performances.

Thornton is hoping to find a civic group or service club to sponsor the group by handling production cost, and ticket printing and sales, in exchange for a share of the profits as a fund-raiser.

"We're just in it for the fun," he said of The Misfits' motivation.


The Misfits Theater Group of Dayton will perform the original melodrama, "The Love Child, or Mysteries of Cosmic Awareness" on July 16, 17, 23, 24 at 8:30 p.m. at the historic Odeon Hall, upstairs at Mia's Swiss Restaurant.

Robyn Mazy plays the heroine in the 1960s melodrama that tells the story of flower child Sunshine Goldenbraiden's efforts to get a birth certificate for her son, Garden of Love, so he can enroll in kindergarten.

Clinton A. Truthkiller (played by Mark Grzebyk) is the evil and thoroughly degenerate bureaucratic head of the state department of Certification Registration and Publication (CRAP).

He takes on the task in the hope of acquiring custody of Garden of Love and the fortune the boy is entitled to, but of which Sunshine is unaware.

Fortunately, Morgan P. Goodheart (Chris Kristian), attorney at law, defender of the downtrodden and all-around good guy, happens to come to town just in time to save the day, the girl, the son and the fortune.

The show builds to a climactic trial before Judge Marjorie Allright (Rae Logan) and her goofy bailiff Arden Ringslader (Smokey Vanous) at the Dayton Municipal Judicial Court.

Friends and fiends keep the action moving - with a few musical interludes - toward a thoroughly satisfying ending.

Mia's Swiss Restaurant is on Pike Street near Main Street. Tickets are $8 and available at Mia's, Connie's Copies, at the door, or by calling 246-9622.

Sally Taylor is night editor and Dayton reporter for the Nevada Appeal. Contact her at staylor@nevadaappeal.com or at 881-1210.


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