Director Mel Gosage and his well-seasoned cast serve up rapid-fire repartee and sticky situations that send the dough flying in playwright Jim Brochu’s culinary comedy.

“Cookin’ with Gus” is the story of Gussie Richardson (Wendy Plaisted), cookbook author, food columnist, and aspiring TV food show host, stricken mute in front of the camera. This suits her hypnotist husband Walter (Charles Hickinbotham) just fine but leaves her overly zealous, career-driven agent Bernie Luskin (John Olmos) wracked with desperation. Enter zany, gypsy neighbor Carmen (Kim Day), to stir the pot and mayhem boils over. Plaisted, Hickinbotham, Olmos, and Day deliver bold, introspective performances, spiced by tempestuous capers (food fights, egg laying) and tinged by human frailty. Costumes are vivid, the set is vintage NYC kitchen, and Mike Proctor’s sound and lighting techniques are icing on the plot.

The Barn Theater Junior Company, directed by Dr. Mary Shaw, adds pre-show zing before each performance and is showcased in the program along with Mel Gosage’s original “Cookin’ with Gus” lyrics.

Evening performances on April 1, 7 and 8 begin at 7:30 with the Junior Company taking the stage at 7:15. Sunday matinee performances on April 2 and 9 begin at 2:30 with the Junior Company performing at 2:15. Show reservations, suggested but not necessary, may be made online at www.barntheater.porterville.com or by calling 310-7046. Admission is: $10-adults, $8-seniors, $8-students, and $5-under 12.

Kitchen Crew, Signage by Ali Plaisted, lobby and box office persons, board members, volunteers, patrons, supporters, cast, crew, to all involved, special thanks for such a delightful theatrical smorgasbord.

“Cookin’ with Gus” is dedicated to Caroline Harris, the Barn’s own special Gus, in tribute to her invincible spirit, countless contributions, boundless energy, and irrepressible warmth, wit, and wisdom, forever cornerstones of the Barn.

Enjoy this family friendly show. Come early, stay long, bring friends. Let us know what you think.

The Barn is your community theater, the door is always open and your welcome will be as warm and special as “Cookin’ with Gus.” For all you need to know about the Barn, visit www.barntheater,porterville.com. Find the Barn on Facebook at: The Porterville Barn Theater | Facebook.

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