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August 10 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm$25
BLAST is very pleased to announce that “Retail,” an original play by Carson McKenna, is coming to the Cider Mill Stage August 10-12th, 2023.
“Retail” is the first play in BLAST: Bold Local Artists of the Southern Tier’s Launch Pad Series, a program intending to showcase the work of local artists, and playwrights. “Retail” originally premiered at the Lost Dog Café, turning their catering space into a makeshift stage.
“Retail” is a comedy that pays homage to the wacky world of customer service. It’s set in Bliss and Beauty World, a store that sells candles and body care to the masses. (You MAY recognize the blue aprons and pink gingham from somewhere…)
Colette (Stefanie Willette) is the zealous, Type A+ store manager. Her mission in life is to keep Bliss and Beauty World as the #1 store in her district. Her droll coworker, Lorraine (Emily Jablon) doesn’t share her enthusiasm: she’d rather be in bed with her cat, Tolstoy, than selling candles. Then there’s the new hire, Virginia (Lisa Dutcher), who is overjoyed to be out of her house for the first time in 25 years. The job gives her a new lease on life—a purpose beyond making dinner for her husband and dusting her Precious Moments collection.
The staff of Bliss and Beauty World isn’t exclusively female: there is also 17-year-old Conor “Con-Man” Manning (Cooper Ely). Con-Man is a fast-talking slickster who left Bliss and Beauty World to focus on school. But now that he’s gotten into Cornell, he wants to come back to the store to earn some cash. The trouble is, Colette has her reasons for not trusting Con-Man…
Colette has her daily foils that come in the form of shoplifters and coupon Karens. Then, there’s the Queen of All Karens: Ann (Karen Whalen). Ann is famous for abusing the lax Bliss and Beauty World return policy: she ends up turning a profit on her returns, much to Colette’s aggravation. Then, there’s the band of teenage shoplifters (Kirsten Groats, Kylie McClendon, and Maggie Striley) who are hocking candles left and right. It’s getting to the point where Colette may just hog tackle the next shoplifter who tries her—or recruit Jimmy (Todd Kross), the Security Guard to taser someone!
Through a shocking series of events, Colette uncovers the real reason her store is slipping from the #1 spot. Now, she must confront the ultimate menace to Bliss and Beauty World. But will her zeal and aggression be enough to save her store?
“Retail” promises to make you laugh, make you groan, and make you thankful you don’t have to deal with the customer who’s asking to speak with a manager.
The cast and crew would like to thank BLAST and the Cider Mill Stage for taking a chance on them. A very special thank you goes out to our director, Gemma Barber, who is reprising her role as director, Nathan Butler who is co-producer, and Emma Wagaman, our stage manager.
We look forward to giving you a fantastic show!!