PREVIEW: New year brings new theatrical productions to Inland Northwest

A new year means new theatrical productions are opening on four area stages this week.

Stage Left Theater, Spokane Civic Theatre, the First Interstate Center for the Arts and Lake City Playhouse will open “Mandelstam,” “Present Laughter,” “An American in Paris” and “Fun Home,” respectively.

Read on to learn more about each production.


‘Present Laughter’

There are a lot of characters in Noël Coward’s “Present Laughter,” but they all have one person in common: Garry Essendine (Patrick McHenry-Kroetch).

Essendine, a suave matinee idol, is too old, according to his wife Liz (Elisabet Edwards), to be having multiple affairs. (Yes, his wife is aware of his affairs.) During the show, Essendine has encounters with Daphne Stillington (Abby Constable), a young admirer, and Joanna Lyppiatt (Rebecca Craven), the wife of his producer Hugo (R. Scott Cantrell).

Just before Essendine leaves on tour, things go downhill as the “full extent of his misdemeanors are discovered,” which leads to a series of frantic comings and goings from nearly the entire cast.

In 2017, the revival was nominated for a Tony Award for best revival of a play, as well as best costume design. Kevin Kline, who played Essendine, won the Tony for best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play. He also won the Drama Desk Award for outstanding actor in a play.

Civic’s production, directed by Melody Deatherage, opens tonight and runs through Feb. 2.

The play also stars Phedre Burney-Peters (Monica Reed), Paul J. Watts (Fred), Kaylan Martin (Roland Maule), Robert Tombari (Morris Dixon), Eve Luppert (Miss Erikson) and Mary Jo Rudolf (Lady Saltburn).

If you go: Today through Feb. 2. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; Spokane Civic Theatre, Firth J. Chew Studio Theatre, 1020 N. Howard St.; $25; $15 all-ages rush 30 minutes before curtains, available through


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Article by Azaria Podplesky of the Spokesman-Review 

Photo by Marlee Andrews