Words & music delight audience at Ben’s

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(From left) Gary Hougen, Pauline Elphick, Charles Elwin, Ray Lightbown, Ben Hansen, Tom Fletcher, Sue Tate, Jayne Jouai, Mara Swankey, Sheldon Penner, Wendy Khan and Tweed Harris at Ben’s Theatre.
(From left) Gary Hougen, Pauline Elphick, Charles Elwin, Ray Lightbown, Ben Hansen, Tom Fletcher, Sue Tate, Jayne Jouai, Mara Swankey, Sheldon Penner, Wendy Khan and Tweed Harris at Ben’s Theatre.

The first presentation by Phoenix Performers Pattaya was greeted by audience members at Ben’s Theatre with much laughter, many smiles and generous applause after an hour of comedy in the play “Line” and then with the appearance of a very special guest in the guise of Liberace.

The play represented the efforts of an amateur theatre group where everything could and invariably did go wrong.  With fine performances from a cast of 9 actors and actresses this play took the audience on a delightful journey into the world of bloopers.

The cast was headed by experienced performers Sheldon Penner, Wendy Khan, Mara Swankey, Charles Elwin and Ray Lightbown.  Giving their all in support were newcomers Jayne Jouai, Pauline Elphick and Sue Tait.  The aim of PPP is to provide enjoyment and entertainment and this the company did in great measure.  The play was directed by its author, Tweed Harris.

After a short interval the stage was converted into a musical setting ready for the arrival of Liberace himself.  Ben Hansen, the proprietor of Bens Theater, was the perfect player to recreate the music, style and charisma of the one and only Liberace.  With glittering costumes, dazzling smiles and professional musicianship, Ben brought this celebrated, larger than life pianist back to life.

The audience contributed suggestions for songs and Liberace played many of their requests, encouraging them to singalong, which they did with gusto.  Liberace began his musical interlude with a display of classical pieces and rounded off his unique performance with his own presentation of a Liberace favourite, “I’ll Be Seeing You”.

From the comments and reactions of the audience it seems fair to say that PPP will be seeing their supporters again, just as soon as they mount another production.