Left to Right: Bill Rowan, Gail Drillinger, Randy Manning and Brant McCanceALTON - Alton Little Theater is preparing for the next production of their 90th season, “Beer For Breakfast,” with evening and matinee shows coming up in just a couple of weeks. Lee Cox, executive director of Alton Little Theater, discussed the story behind the show, more upcoming shows and auditions, and much more on a recent Theater Tuesday segment on Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com.

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“One of the reasons I love this play: everybody’s probably had one of those, ‘What if?’ fantasies like, ‘Why didn’t I tell that guy or girl how I really felt? What if I could go back and relive that wonderful moment and then choose differently?’” Cox said. “This looks at, well, what happens if you’re forced to be in a small cabin - in a snowstorm, of course - and you have to confront your past, all of it, good or bad [with] the person you loved more than anyone else?

Evening showings of “Beer For Breakfast” will be held on Sept. 15 and 16, and from Sept. 20-23, each at 7:30 p.m. Matinees will be held on Sept. 17 and Sept. 24., both at 2 p.m.

“Suddenly, the cabin seems very small because you’re like, ‘Are we going to talk about real things or not?’ and I just love this play.”

Evening showings of “Beer For Breakfast” will be held on Sept. 15 and 16, and from Sept. 20-23, each at 7:30 p.m. Matinees will be held on Sept. 17 and Sept. 24., both at 2 p.m. Admission is $22 for adults and $18 for ages 17 and under (the show is rated PG-13). Tickets can be purchased online here.

Cox said that Bill Rowan, who will mark his Alton Little Theater debut with “Beer For Breakfast,” gives a “touching” and dynamic performance as the president of a company who falls victim to a stroke even after leading a healthy lifestyle (by contrast, another character lives on healthily even after he eats poorly and “drinks like a fish,” Cox said).

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“Bill’s character, he wants to be treated the same. He’s like, ‘I’ve not lost my mind, I’ve not lost my feelings, I just have trouble pronouncing some words, my left hand doesn’t work as well,’” Cox said. “That’s a little risk for us to do theatrically, but he does such a touching performance - you see him laugh, and he can get mad, and he can be cantankerous - he’s a real person.”

“Beer For Breakfast” features a smaller cast than the usual Alton Little Theater production, making the chemistry between cast members even more important, Cox said - especially when they’re “portraying four people who went to college together 30 years ago” (the show’s title derives from their college-era diets). She added less cast members also means more lines for them to memorize, giving each of them a bit more of a challenge.

Cox said the cast and crew are now in “crunch” mode as they make their final preparations for the show in two weeks - but once “Beer For Breakfast” is over, auditions for the Little Theater’s next show will already be underway.

“We start rehearsals for ‘A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder’ on [Sept.] 25,” Cox said. “Gentleman’s Guide is just one of the funniest musicals, but I need 14 incredible people in this.”

She added that “Gentleman’s Guide” is perfect for anyone with a great voice wishing to be part of a fun musical. Auditions will be held on Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. and Sept. 10 at 1 p.m.

For more information about “Beer For Breakfast” or Alton Little Theater, call the Box Office at (618) 462-3205 or visit altonlittletheater.com.

The full interview with Cox can be watched at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com.

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