Favorite artists to return to Thingamajig for March play

Photo courtesy Maggie Marguerite Studio
Award-winning director Melissa Firlit is returning to the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts from New York City to direct “Last Call at The Riptide,” Thingamajig Theatre Company’s winter show by local writer Karl Isberg that opens Thursday, March 16. 

By Carole Howard  | Thingamajig Theatre Company

Award-winning director Melissa Firlit and hugely popular actor Dan Morrison are returning to the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts for “Last Call at The Riptide,” Thingamajig Theatre Company’s winter show by local writer Karl Isberg that opens Thursday, March 16. 

The announcement was made by Tim Moore, the theater’s producing artistic director. 

This new play is set in The Riptide, once the most popular nightclub on the Central Coast, a prime destination that drew patrons from far and wide. Then the local sardine industry crashed, the area became gentrified and The Riptide is on the rocks. The show tells the story of the club’s owner and her team as they rally to save her beloved nightspot, facing major obstacles along the way.

Artist favorites return

The production is being directed by Firlit. She is greatly admired by Thingamajig audiences for her work as the director of multiple hits from serious dramas like “Red” and “Proof” to blockbuster musicals like “Jekyll and Hyde, “Aida” and “West Side Story.” She also serves as the artistic director of the Thingamajig Playwrights Festival, which develops and workshops the work of emerging playwrights. She returns to Pagosa from her home in New York City. 

Morrison, a professional actor, comes back to town from his home in Lake Tahoe, Calif., to perform in the show. His previous outstanding acting appearances at Thingamajig have included “God of Carnage,” “Westside Story” and “Hairspray” — not to mention his role as ultra-enthusiastic emcee for the theater’s annual summer fundraiser galas. 

In addition to Morrison, “Riptide” features four other actors including Isberg’s wife, Kathleen, and daughter Ivy King. Kathleen Isberg is well-known for her performances in several plays produced by our Curtains Up Pagosa community theater (previously Music Boosters) including Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” and the Nunsense musical comedy series. King, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, has performed on the Thingamajig stage in several shows including “Legally Blonde” and “Circle Mirror Transformation.” 

They will be joined by two other actors, both skilled in comedy, who are new to Thingamajig audiences. Karisa Bruin, who now lives in Pagosa, performed for more than a decade in the famed Chicago improvision scene and also created a one-woman show. Los Angeles native Dan O’Connor’s show business experience ranges from acting in theater, TV and film to production and set carpentry.

Tickets available now

“Riptide” opens on Thursday, March 16, and will be performed over two weekends — March 16-19 and 23-25. Evening performances are at 7 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on March 19. 

You can order tickets for the show on the theater’s website, pagosacenter.org, or by phoning (970 731-SHOW (7469). Tickets are $33. 

Thingamajig Theatre Company was co-founded in 2011 by Tim and Laura Moore, executive director. It is an award-winning professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.