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Jim Matthaie and Pete Phillips rehearse their roles as Norman and Charlie the mailman in the Madhatters Community Theatre production of "On Golden Pond" being performed this weekend and April 8-11 at Memorial Auditorium.

Cast comes together for an 'incredibly touching show'

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It took a year, but Director Susan Mohs has her complete cast for the Madhatters Community Theatre production of "On Golden Pond," by Ernest Thompson at Memorial Auditorium starting this weekend.

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Auditions for the play were held last year, Mohs said, but there was no one to play the lead male role of Norman Thayer Jr. Rather than compromise the believability of the story, the play was pulled, she said. This year, Jim Matthiae is taking on the role of the elderly Norman. Matthiae can play a guy who is much older than his actual age, Mohs said.

Rounding out the cast are Carol Aspengren as Ethel Thayer, Wyatt Fitzsimmons as Billy Ray, Doug Curtis as Bill Ray, Kandi Kelderman as Chelsea, and Pete Phillips as Charlie.

"I couldn't ask for a better cast," Mohs said. "I feel very blessed."

The play is billed as comedy joining the story of one family's struggle with age, rage, love withheld, love unspoken, disappointment and ultimately, forgiveness, acceptance and renewal. The play is set during Norman and Ethel's 48th summer at their lake cabin.

"It's an incredibly touching show," Mohs said.

Dee Skogen and Randy Mohs designed the set featuring a lake cabin living room and a life-size tree.

The play opened Friday night. Other show times are at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 27; 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 28; 7 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, April 8-10; and 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 11.

New this year, tickets do not have set dates and can be used for any of the shows, Mohs said.

Tickets are available at Peter's Thrifty White Drug, Ben Franklin Crafts and the Memorial Auditorium box office open from 5-7 p.m. Monday through Friday. For ticket information, call (218) 632-SHOW.

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