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"God's Favorite" to open at Imperial

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Those who have ever seen a Neil Simon play know what a great night full of laughter is in store when The Imperial Dinner Theatre presents his comedy "God's Favorite" beginning Jan. 18. It will run weekends through Feb. 9. This play, directed by Kelly Grooms, is taken from the Book of Job and transfers the scene to a Long Island mansion where tycoon, Joe Benjamin (Derek Phelps), resides. Joe is a man with complete faith in God. One night a messenger from God enters with a big G on his sweatshirt (Kelly Grooms). He informs Joe that he, out of everyone in the world, is God's favorite, and that God and the devil have a bet as to whether his faith can be shaken. Of course our modern Job won't renounce God, so he is beset with ailments ranging from an unscratchable itch to hemorrhoids. When that doesn't work, even more misery is heaped on Joe. Everything becomes a test of his faith, including his family.Joe's wife, Rose (Carol Belford-Lewallen), is a loving wife and mother, and fiercely protective of her most precious possessions, her jewels. The children are grown, but still at home. Prodigal son David (Stuart Turner) is constantly baiting his father, and the twins, Ben and Sarah (Scott Ide and Carla McMichael), have an IQ of 160 -- between them. Added to the mix are Morris and Mady (Michael Nelson and Dorothy Rapert), the household help hired for their strong faith as much as their ability.Show dates are Jan. 18-19 and 25-27 (Sunday matinee), Feb. 1-3 (Sunday matinee) and 8-9. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Dinner is served Sunday at 1 p.m. with showtime at 2 p.m. Dinner and show ticket prices are $17.95 for adults, $13.95 for students. Show-only ticket prices are $10 for adults, $8 for students. For reservations, call (870) 892-0030. For more information or for on group rates log on to www.imperialdinnertheatre.com. The Imperial is located at 302 N Marr St. Pocahontas, just off the historic downtown square.



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