Beverly Blanchette, Carol Sussman, comedy, Cricket Daniel, Deborah Kondelik, Ellen Wacher, Empire Stage, Fort Lauderdale Theatre, Michael Gioia, Pigs Do Fly Productions, Steven Chambers, Todd Bruno
Pigs Do Fly Productions
Soars Back With
Helen and her gang… all ready to raise a ruckus!
“‘Helen on Wheels’ is a lovely play about real people, and its gentle humor provides the structure for a very funny lesson on living your life, and no one else’s, no matter how old you are.” ~ Mary Ann Johnson, MD Theatre Guide
For Immediate Release
Contact: Carol Kassie
email@example.com / 561-445-9244
November 3, 2021
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL: Pigs Do Fly Productions’ Helen on Wheels managed just one performance before the pandemic forced the show to shutter in March 2020. However, Pigs’ founder and Executive Producer Ellen Wacher vowed Pigs Do Fly Productions and the show would be back when the time was right. Now, with Florida COVID numbers consistently dropping, and audiences starting to attend theatre, Wacher feels “It’s time to bring the gang back!” Helen on Wheels will run from December 3rd through December 19th at Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale. There will be a preview performance on December 2nd.
“We were devastated when we had to close down,” Wacher says, “But of course it was the right and only thing to do. We’ve had to make a couple of changes due to scheduling issues – a new director and two new cast members, but I am more than confident our audiences will love this production of Helen on Wheels. It is totally enjoyable, far out, very funny, and fits our Pigs Do Fly mission – to show people over 50 doing interesting things with their lives – to a ‘tee’.”
“I am so pleased to be working with Ellen Wacher again and most happy to be directing another Cricket Daniel play,” says the show’s director Deborah Kondelik. “I loved directing The Lost Virginity Tour for Pigs Do Fly, and I am certain that Helen on Wheels will be just as entertaining and engaging. We theatre artists are all grateful to be back after such a long hiatus.”
A feisty, bingo-playing, gun-toting, ruckus raising, independent woman living in the small town of Crockett, Oklahoma. That’s Helen Wheeler, the title character in Cricket Daniel’s comedy Helen on Wheels. When Helen isn’t locked up in the local clink, she’s on her front porch shootin’ up critters and the local kids. Not even the local sheriff, who has already taken away all her ammo and her driver’s license, can manage to uphold the law when it comes to Helen, her sidekick Zona, and their daily “Thelma and Louise” antics.
Beverly Blanchette will return as Helen, as will Carol Sussman as her best friend and partner in crime Zona. Todd Bruno will reprise his role as Nelson, and Michael Gioia and Steven Chambers have joined ‘the gang’ as Elmer and Seth.
Helen on Wheels’ Scenic Designer is Dean Landhuis, David Hart is the show’s Sound Designer, Preston Bircher is the Lighting Designer, and Joseph Long is the production’s Stage Manager.
“I am thrilled to have Helen on Wheels produced by Pigs Do Fly Productions,” playwright Cricket Daniel said recently. “This play is very personal to me because it was inspired by my own mother, who loved two things… my Dad and Bingo! I had an absolute blast creating these characters. I think the heart of Helen on Wheels is the friendship between Helen and Zona. Everyone needs a best friend that will wipe your tears… and help you break out of jail. Everyone needs a Zona!”
Cricket Daniel holds a theater degree from UC Santa Barbara and studied Shakespeare in Cambridge, England. She has an extensive background in improv, stand-up and theater. Cricket was a member of the national improv troupe Comedy Sportz and has performed stand-up at The Ice House and The Improv and has performed regularly in local community theatre productions. Her short play Break Dreams has been staged in New York City, Miami, Colorado Springs, Eugene, Oregon, and in Austin, TX. Her full-length play Love, Laughter & Lucci took home Best Production, Best Actress and Best Actor awards at the 2012 Golden Gravel Awards. Her full-length play Helen On Wheels was a finalist in the 2015 New Play Development Workshop through Route 66 Theatre in Chicago. Cricket is a 2012 recipient of an Arts, Beautification, and Culture Award for her contribution to local theater and is a member of The Dramatist Guild of America. She lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and daughter.
There will be a preview performance of Helen on Wheels on December 2nd; the production will open on December 3rd and run through December 19th. Tickets are $39 and are available online at www.pigsdoflyproductions.com. Performances are on Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, and on Sunday at 5 pm. All performances will take place Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304.
Masks covering nose, mouth, and chin must be worn in the building
at all times in order to attend.
There will be no refreshments available.
For more information about Pigs Do Fly Productions, please visit www.pigsdoflyproductions.com. For more information about Ellen Wacher, please visit www.ellenwacher.com. To arrange for interviews, or for photos, or to arrange to see the production, please contact Carol Kassie at firstname.lastname@example.org / 561-445-9244.
Helen on Wheels
By Cricket DanielPreview Performance: Thursday, December 2 at 8 pm
Runs from December 3 – 19, 2021
Or call 954-678-1496
Friday, & Saturday: 8 pm
Sunday: 5 pm
All performances will take place at
1140 N Flagler Drive,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304