November 17, 2014

BY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE- John A. Logan College will present the debut of “Best Wishes,” a play written by Steve Falcone, professor emeritus of English at the college.  Set in the little Kingdom of Cob, it features a doting queen, a sleepy king, three needy princesses, and a couple of wish-granting elves. 

Two evening performances are set for Friday, Nov. 21, and Saturday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m. in Logan’s O’Neil Auditorium.

“I wrote ‘Best Wishes’ a couple of years ago as a fairy tale for my two young granddaughters who were infatuated with princesses,” said Falcone who is also directing the play.  “It was written as a cautionary tale in hopes that they wouldn’t be like the selfish princesses in the story.  I sprinkled in a lot of humor, some crazy characters, including a talking mirror, and wrapped it up with a good moral and a happy ending.” 

Falcone is pleased with how the production has come together.

“It’s been a lot of fun.  I’ve got a great cast and crew with several people I’ve worked with before,” Falcone said.  “JoAnn Ridenour has made really beautiful costumes.  She made the costumes for a production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ I did, and they were magnificent.  She makes the show sparkle.  I think audiences will enjoy the fun and fashion.”

Veteran performer Rita Pearce of Marion plays Queen Millicent in the show. 

“My character is the Queen of Cob and she kind of runs the kingdom while her husband, King Rupert, just follows along,” Pearce said.  “The story is what I call a fractured fairy tale.  It’s fun and fantasy.  The characters are a little over the top and very enjoyable to play.”   

Pearce said she has worked with Falcone on past productions. 

“I’ve done many other plays with Steve and he’s great to work with,” she said.  “He lets the actors explore their characters and come up with their own interpretation of who they are.  He also has a wonderful sense of humor and writes with a very witty perspective.”

In addition to the evening performances of “Best Wishes,” a matinee, also in O’Neil Auditorium, will be held on Friday, Nov. 21, and begin at 10 a.m.  Tickets for the evening shows are $12 for general admission and $7 for JALC students and children 12 and under.  Tickets for the matinees are $2 for the general public and free to Logan students and staff.

For more information about “Best Wishes” or to obtain advance tickets, contact the Office of Student Activities and Cultural Events at JALC at 618-985-2828 or 618-457-7676, Ext. 8287.