Love, murder … and shoes?

When Olympic Theatre Arts’ Ric Munhall was looking for a play for his fourth directorial turn, he only had two requirements: It had to have few characters and lots of laughs.

“I like fast-paced comedies,” Munhall said.

He finally selected “If the Shoe Fits,” a relatively new play with two male characters and two female characters who are intertwined. The play, written by three Floridians, was first performed in Fort Lauderdale in 2004.

The production begins when Delores, played by Alexandra Edward, brings home shoe salesman George, played by Michael Aldrich, to meet her husband. What her husband, Marvin, played by Pat Owens, doesn’t know, is that Delores and George are having an affair and plotting to poison him so they can live happily ever after.

“Unfortunately, all of their plans are pretty stupid and don’t work out the way they should,” Munhall said.

The plot twists even more when Delores and Marvin’s housemaid Esperanza, played by Anita Bonham, visits the home and falls for George.

“That just adds to the complications,” Munhall explained.

For Munhall, perfecting the play was about finding the perfect actors for each character. The small cast works, he said, because of the big personalities of the four actors.

“I was very, very lucky to get the cast I did,” he said of the four veteran peninsula performers. “They have a good working knowledge of this fast-paced comedy type acting.”

The quartet began rehearsing in early March, which Munhall said is the perfect amount of time to dedicate to a production.

“You have to give yourself at least seven or eight weeks to get a show together,” he said. “Any less and it doesn’t work. It’s really starting to come together.”

The entire play takes place on one set — the home of Delores and Marvin — so Munhall said they took extra care to make it elaborate, adding details including a newspaper on the side table and a rug under the couch.

The costumes also were chosen with the character’s personality in mind — but the emphasis was definitely on the shoes.

“Everybody wears very strange shoes,” Munhall said, referring to the brightly multicolored flats on Delores’ feet, George’s black-and-white checkered loafers and Esperanza’s fuzzy bunny slippers. “It’s all about the shoes.”

Who: Olympic Theatre Arts

What: “If the Shoe Fits,” by Matt Thompson, Matt Chiorini and Dana Vermettte, directed by Ric Munhall

When: 7:30 p.m. April 24-26 and May 1-3; 2 p.m. April 27, May 4.

Where: Old Dungeness Schoolhouse, 2781 Towne Road, Sequim

Tickets: $12, available at Pacific Mist Books and Sequim Village Glass in Sequim and Odyssey Bookshop in Port Angeles or by calling Olympic Theatre Arts at 683-7326.

OTA update

After more than a year of being vacant, the Olympic Theatre Arts Center on North Sequim Avenue may be back in business by early 2009, said OTA business manager Loren Johnson.

“The new building is coming along pretty well,” said Johnson, adding that the roof, siding and fire doors have all been installed. “All the pieces are there … but there is still a big financial hurdle.”

Johnson said he hopes the annual OTA gala on May 20 will drum up some much-needed funds. The goal is to have the building up and running by January 2009.

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