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‘Mass Appeal’ comes to Cuba this weekend

Photo by Kathy Malick

Paul Nelson of Olean (left) and Skyler Schapp of Little Valley will star in this weekend’s production of Mass Appeal at the Palmer Opera House in Cuba.


By CINDY WAGNER

CUBA — After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, the Palmer Opera House in Cuba is back to scheduling the events that area residents have long anticipated — and this weekend brings “Mass Appeal.”

The show opens Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Doors will open one-half hour prior to show time. Pre-sale tickets are available for $10, by calling (585) 209-5512. At the door, tickets will be $12 and seniors/students price is $8.

Written by Bill C. Davis in 1981 for a cast of two, the play is set in the office of the Church of St. Francis and explores the oft-contentious relationship between two priests over the course of a few weeks. Father Tim Farley is a priest comfortable in his position in his well-off parish. Mark Dolson is an idealistic seminarian with a promiscuous past who challenges the elder’s validity.

Farley is played by Paul Nelson of Olean and Dolson by played by Skyler Schapp of Little Valley and produced by Michele Conklin.

Kathy Malick of Hinsdale, who has worked with several regional theater groups through the years, directs.

“We’re fortunate to have two extremely, extremely talented (actors),” said Malick. “I’ve been in this business for 40 years and they’re just fantastic.”

A two-man show has its difficulties, according to Malick. “It’s a lot of lines, a lot of lines,” she said. “Sometimes with two actors it can be easier but sometimes it can be harder. If you have 20 bodies on the stage, that’s a difficult task because you want to paint a picture on stage.”

Malick considered staging the play on the floor of the opera house. “It’s a beautiful setting and wonderful place to work,” she said. “I thought about playing on the floor right with the audience, but I really want this to be in air, where Father Farley would be if he was in a mass.”

The production is dedicated to Dale Miller, who originally performed the play in 1987 with the Olean Community Theatre.

The next event scheduled at the Palmer Opera House is a free Nettie Production starring local musicians featuring Broadway movie and show tunes on June 5 from 2 to 4 p.m.