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Chelsea Players, in collaboration with Norwich Arts Center, returned to live theater with the hilarious comedy Specs, written by Norwich native John Morrison. It was performed at Norwich Arts Center’s Donald L. Oat Theater March 18, 19, 25, and 26. 

Set in Philadelphia, where the playwright lived for twenty years, the comedy follows three down-on-their-luck brothers. Heavily in debt to their persistent and unavoidable bookie, they devise a plot to pay off their debts, with enough cash left over to live high on the hog. The play is directed by Chelsea Players president Richard Weingart of Franklin who does double duty, playing Paul, a former college professor who did not leave of his own volition. The remaining brothers are Brian, an unsuccessful actor played by theater veteran John Lamar of Gales Ferry, and John, played by NAC favorite Jim Kenney of Montville. Nicole Wilcox, Bob Harding, Ken Lamothe, Nancy Gatto, and Sean Flaherty round out the cast.

Playwright John Morrison, who has recently moved from Philadelphia to the Boston area, considers the show a valentine to Philly. Filled with numerous Philadelphia references, from hoagies and cheesesteaks to a Founding Father and the Mummers Parade, somehow it all comes together in this wild ride loaded with belly laughs.

Morrison, who spent two years working on the play, noted that he and two theater friends who bore a resemblance to each other thought about searching for a play they could do together playing brothers. “I was too lazy to look for one, so I wrote one instead.” Director Richard Weingart has been one of Morrison’s closest friends for almost fifty years. Morrison feels “honored that Ken Lamothe, my NFA Playshop director, is appearing in the show as well.” He adds that although Chelsea Players is known for producing challenging plays, they like to indulge in something silly from time to time. “I think comedy is especially needed these days--as we slowly reassemble our lives during this pandemic. I’m delighted that ‘Specs’ is now in the hands of such old friends and talented theater artists.”

Our shows have performed at the United Congregational Church, 87 Broadway, Norwich. See below for directions.

In addition to our performances, we usually meet once a month at 7p.m. at our performance site. Sign up on our email list for the dates and times.
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