Everything is not as it seems in North Branch Area High School’s fall production of “Bull in a China Shop,” being performed the first weekend in November. 

When a houseful of sweet, little old ladies discover that a handsome bachelor lives across the street, they are delighted. When they learn that he is none other than Detective Dennis O’Finn, of Homicide, they are faced with the problem of how to attract his attention. The answer is simplicity itself: a nice, genteel homicide with a cup of tea as the murder weapon. 

Throw in a brash young woman reporter who begins to suspect the truth, and there will be plenty of madcap twists as O’Finn tries to solve the case before the dear old ladies turn the tables on him.

“Originally we had planned to do ‘Clue,’” said production manager Laura Michels, “but unfortunately the performance rights didn’t come through, so I chose this play as a fun alternative.”

The production is overseen by Michels, but directed by students Kodie Maki and Braden Weyenberg.  

Student actors, including two males, bring to life the seven old ladies in the play.  

“I am so excited about the characters that have developed over the rehearsal period,” Michels said. “Each cast member has a distinct character personality, and it is really shining through!”

Not only will it be a challenge for the young men to portray old women, the female students are exercising their acting muscles as well.   

“The most challenging thing for this show, I think, is embodying the physicality of an older person,” Michels said. “Seven of our cast members are playing old ladies, and they have had to figure out how to walk, move, talk, etc., like an older person.”

With a cast of 13, the play will be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, and Saturday, Nov. 2, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, in North Branch Area High School’s Edelstein Auditorium.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students, and are available for purchase at the Community Ed office or County Market. 

Tickets can also be reserved and held at Will Call by calling the Community Ed Office at 651-674-1027.

“These students always put on fantastic productions,” added Michels, “and this one will be no different. You don’t want to miss it!”

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