A little ‘Panache’

WC?man stars in Iowa River Players production

-Submitted photo
Mark Andrew, of Webster City, and Sonia Vinsand, Dows, appear in the Iowa River Player's presentation of PANACHE, which will be showing this weekend.

ROWAN — It’s a question of who truly has “Panache” – or at least who has the pancakes.

The latest comedy coming out of the Iowa River Players Theater starts in an unlikely place, with the vanity license plate ‘PANACHE,’ and builds into a romantic comedy about the battle over the ownership of style, flair, dash, verve, zest, and PANACHE.

Mark Andrew, of Webster City, plays the lead role, a character named Harry.

“I actually for three years have had the license plate ‘PANACHE’,” Andrew explained. “My female counterpart wants to get that license plate for her husband, who she feels has the most panache.”

“And she has in her possession a license place which says PANCAKE,” show Director Luanne Krabbe said. “When she applied for PANACHE, they sent her PANCAKE. So she would do anything to get this license plate away from Harry.”

According to the play’s description playwright Don Gordon has invented a world for us where Kathleen Trafalgar, a fur-wearing, Perrier-drinking country club snob, initially can’t see why Harry Baldwin, an almost shaven, hard-napping, beer-can-throwing, handsome slob, would ever lay claim to the term.

Andrew is a veteran of perhaps 10 shows at Webster City Community Theater over the last 10 years, and is enjoying his first role in Rowan.

“It’s interesting how I was cast. I was just contacted by one of the physicians I used to work with, who was involved with the theater over there, who said, we happen to have an opening in this play, would you consider coming to do this role?” Andrew said.

He didn’t know until he walked in the door, and met some of the people, that he’d be auditioning for the main part.

Krabbe is happy to have him.

“He’s a retired surgeon, and he has a great baritone voice, very tall and handsome,” she said. “Perfect leading man.”

Sonia Vinsand, Dows, plays the leading woman, and the play shows how the relationship between the two develops, Andrew said.

Through one of Harry’s card-playing buddies and two “ghosts” who look back on his past, the story explores how he ended up laying claim to the PANACHE license plate.

Steve Froelich from Belmond plays Harry’s poker buddy, while Brittany Louks, Clarion, and Andreas Smith, Belmond, are the ghosts.

“They’re not only ghosts, they’re also figments of a dream and shadows. They’re multipurpose,” Krabbe said.

The play was sent to her by the playwright.

“It was sent to me by Don Gordon, who wrote it,” Krabbe said. “He lives in California. When I read it I thought it was very clever, and touching and fun.”

The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday evening at 7:30.