Fans of the TLC channel show Trading Spaces are in for a treat.
Show designers Doug Wilson and Hildi Santo Tomas will be performing Love Letters at the Depot Theater on Feb. 16-17.
"Doug and I both grew up in Central Illinois and did shows together in Villa Grove, Illinois, with the Villa Grove Community Theater decades ago when we were both young and have stayed in touch throughout the years," Depot Theater director John Stuff said. "We’ve tried to do a project together now and then but for one reason or another things have not worked out until now.
"When we talked about projects a year ago 'Love Letters' came up and we both thought it might be a great thing to do around Valentine’s Day.
"We discussed co-stars and he talked to Hildi and she agreed to come on board with it, even though she lives in Paris, France now.
"Shortly after working out the dates and details, the whole 'Trading Spaces' reboot came up and that raised some questions about their availability, due to the shooting schedule of the new episodes, but everything has worked out and we are able to have them perform here just before the new episodes start airing on TV this spring."
According to the TLC website,Trading Spaces ran from 2000-2008 and a reboot was recently announced as eluded by Stuff.
The premise of the show was, two sets of neighbors redecorate a room in each-others home.
Teams have only two days and a $2,000 budget to complete the redesign with a professional designer and carpenter. They have no control over their own home redecoration until the reveal.
According to Stuff, Love Letters follows the lives of two people, Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner from the time they meet in second grade, through their adult lives, told entirely through the letters they write to one another.
"While both actors are on stage the entire show," Stuff said, "they occupy their own space and never actually talk to each other except through the letters.
"They follow very different paths in life – Andrew becomes a lawyer, marries and has children, while Melissa marries, divorces, and tries her hand at several unsuccessful occupations.
"It’s a very moving, touching show about two people who love each other but never find happiness together."
For Wilson and Tomas, this will be the first time the pair have performed together on a live stage.
"Although, Doug said they now have the idea and have rehearsed the show," Stuff said, "it may be something they market and will do again in other theaters across the county, but we have them first."
Tickets will be $90 each for the dinner and show or $60 for just the show.
The dinner begins at 6 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30 p.m.
Despite having just two performers, members of the Depot will be part of the crew.
"There will be local people helping with the tech positions – light and sound board operators, stage managing, kitchen crew, etc.," said Stuff. "But it will just be Doug and Hildi on stage.
"This is a new venture for the Depot Theater Company – bringing in guest stars to perform a show and we will see how well it is received and if the people in southwest Kansas will support something like this.
"We would love to do it on a more regular basis, but we are 'testing the waters' with this production to see what our patrons think and if this is something they would like to have us do again.
"It was made possible by our sponsors Southwest Kansas Community Credit Union, Boot Hill Casino and Resort, Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton, and Rocking M Media."
Visit the Depot Theater Company website at depottheaterco.com, to purchase tickets or call 620-225-1001.
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