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Updated: 01/19/2017 08:30:03AM

‘Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ opens Friday at HLT

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Sharon Weatherhead/Highlands Sun

Pollitt grandchild Leighton Percy, Julia Charlery as Daisy, Desiree Charlton as Lacey and Calvin Jones as Brightie stand behind Rodger Smith who portrays Big Daddy Pollitt.

Sharon Weatherhead/Highlands Sun

Rodger Smith is Big Daddy Pollitt in 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof'.

Sharon Weatherhead/Highlands Sun

Linda Wells-Grosman as Big Momma Pollitt and Jeffrey Lynch as Doc Baugh.

Sharon Weatherhead/Highlands Sun

Tom Staik as Brick Pollitt and Johanna Johnston as Mae Pollitt.

Sharon Weatherhead/Highlands Sun

Linda Wells-Grosman, who portrays Big Momma Pollitt, with and Laura Wade as Maggie Pollitt.

Sharon Weatherhead/Highlands Sun

Tom Staik as Brick Pollitt, Johanna Johnston as Mae Pollitt and Laura Wade as Maggie Pollitt

Sharon Weatherhead/Highlands Sun

Tom Staik as Brick Pollitt, (from left) Johanna Johnston as Mae Pollitt and Kevin Hacker as Rev. Tooker rehearse for Friday's opening of 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof'.

Sharon Weatherhead/Highlands Sun

Tom Staik (Brick Pollitt) and Laura Wade (Maggie Pollitt).


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SEBRING — Hot, hot, steaming hot!

That’s the only way to describe Highlands Little Theatre’s presentation of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

The tension builds and sizzles between “Maggie the Cat” Pollitt, played by Laura Wade, and her husband Brick, played by Tom Staik.

Maggie often says she feels like “a cat on a hot tin roof.”

The story weaves a web of deceit and lies that threaten to tear apart the Pollitt family as they gather for what they fear is “Big Daddy” Pollitt’s (Rodger Smith) 65th and last birthday. Brick and Maggie are there as well as Brick’s brother Gooper (Mike LaFramboise) and his wife Mae – “Sister Woman” (Johanna Johnston), their brood of five children and “Big Momma” Pollitt (Linda Wells-Grosman).

“I’m the comic relief of the show,” said Johnston. “It’s fun to play someone who is very different from myself. I usually do get cast as a villain. In this play I am the sister-in-law trying to protect the family interest. Brick is the favorite son. I’m trying to drive a wedge between Maggie and Brick and his parents. My husband, Gooper, is the older son.”

All is not as it seems. There is no will so if Big Daddy dies, who will inherit the estate? Will it be the favorite son, Brick, who is an alcoholic with no offspring? Or, will it be Gooper who has five children with number six on the way? Will all the truths be told or hidden forever?

“When I was in college, I did straight theater,” said Wade. “Straight theater is my favorite. I just couldn’t pass up a part like this.”

Maggie wants a child and she goes back and forth between trying to seduce Brick and hollering about his drinking himself to oblivion. Brick asks her, “How can you expect someone who hates you to give you a child?”

She refers to her sister-in-law, Mae, who is pregnant for the sixth time, as “that monster of fertility.”

Children are an important asset in the Pollitt family. Big Momma keeps asking Maggie why they don’t have any yet.

“This is the most complex and difficult show I have worked on,” said assistant director Allan Grosman. “The dynamics of this show have overtones of violence and anger and the relationships are very challenging. While there is brutality, where a father wants to rescue his son (Brick), there is also humor. This is a play that challenges everyone.”

This show is supported by a gift from Cohan Radio Group.

Performances begin Friday Jan. 20 and run through Sunday Feb. 5. Evening performances are on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30; Sunday matinee performances begin at 2:30 p.m.

Please note, the content of the show may not be suitable for children under the age of 13.

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