In 1940, Wally and Louise Murdock make a bet that life could be better, much better, if they only move from New Jersey to take over a roadside cafe on the highway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
And so they do — launching "Wally’s Cafe" the restaurant and "Wally’s Cafe" the comedy. Which is all about hopes and dreams and challenges and love in the desert.
The Woodinville Repertory Theatre (www.woodinvillerep.org) will perform "Wally’s Cafe," the semi-saga of Wally, Louise and Janet, their one employee, on weekends in October.
Performances will be on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5, Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, Oct. 18 and 19 and Oct. 25 and 26, all at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday matinees will be on Oct. 6, Oct. 13 and Oct. 20, all at 2 p.m.
Performances will be at Denali Slab & Tile Studio, 16120 Woodinville Redmond Road NE, Suite 12, in Woodinville. For more information, check the theatre’s website (www.woodinvillerep.org).
"Wally’s Cafe" was written by Sam Bobrick and Ron Clark. Bobrick is no stranger to the Woodinville Rep.
Last spring, the theatre company performed Bobrick’s "Passengers," about the characters who wander in and out of a Midwestern bus station.
Challenges is the operative word for Wally, Louise and Janet.
Wally dreams of making a fortune selling hamburgers, fries and the pot roast made from his mother’s recipe.
Louise is the skeptic because she understands that the cafe is on the wrong side of the highway.
The competitor at the side of the highway always has a full parking lot. It’s full in 1940. It’s full in 1958. And it’s full in 1981 when Wally and Louise finally decide to sell out.
Janet stumbles in with four suitcases the night before the cafe opens. She’s pretty and ambitious and on her way from Quincy, Ill., to Hollywood to become a star. Except that she’s no singer and can’t act either.
Still the trio carves out a life, hardscrabble though it may be. They laugh and quarrel and never give up. Until there’s finally a happy and funny ending.
The play premiered on Broadway in 1981 and has been performed steadily around the country ever since.
Because most of the play takes place between 1940 and 1960, audience members who attend the Oct. 18 performance can enjoy root-beer floats before the 7:30 p.m. show. Those who want to attend the Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 shows can buy one ticket and get the second ticket for free.
The show is directed by Hjalmer Anderson, the Woodinville Rep’s artistic director.
The cast features:
Dan Nevin, as Wally. Dan performed in the Woodinville Rep’s 2011 production of "Dearly Beloved," the farce about the small but legendary town of Fayro, Texas.
Melanie Workhoven, as Louise. Melanie has performed in many Woodinville Repertory productions, including "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" and the popular 2012 production of "Southern Hospitality," another of a series of plays about Fayro, Texas.
Amy Gang, as Janet, is a Northern Arizona University graduate – and grew up in southern Nevada very close to where "Wally’s Cafe" is set.