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'Kitchen Witches' offers grand repast

Dolly and her nemesis, Isobel, stir up trouble on a TV set before a "live studio audience" in Long Lake Theater's production of "The Kitchen Witches." Co-starring in the show are, from left, Denese Jokela, Sean Hayes and Juliann Kjenaas.

"The Kitchen Witches" are cooking up a storm at Long Lake Theater.

Canadian playwright Caroline Smith has whipped up a delicious tale about two cable-access cooking show hostesses who have hated each other for 30 years, ever since Larry Biddle dated one and married the other.

"The Kitchen Witches," winner of the 2005 Samuel French Canadian Play Contest, runs July 7 through July 31 at the Hubbard theater.

When circumstances put Dolly Biddle, played by Juliann Kjenaas, and Isobel Lomax (Denese Jokela) together on the same TV show, the insults are flung harder than the food. Dolly's long-suffering TV producer son (Sean Hayes) desperately tries to keep the arch-rival chefs from boiling over. As the plot thickens, the hilarity brews into a scrumptious comedy sure to please every palate.

The show is directed by the Juliann Kjenaas, a longtime director at Long Lake Theater who has also served as drama coach for Park Rapids Area High School for the past eight years.

"Like me, I believe people like to blend their summers with good friends and heaps of laughter," said Kjenaas. "This show is a Lucy and Ethel inspired romp. A good, old-fashioned slapstick comedy soufflé."

The cast features several new faces to the Long Lake Theater stage, including Jason Dennis as "Rob the Camera Guy" and his understudy, Alana McKeever as "Robin the Camera Gal."

Performances are Wednesdays 3 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m.

Celebrating its ninth summer season, Long Lake Theater is located in Hubbard, about 8 miles SE of Park Rapids. To make reservations, call the theater or visit www.longlaketheater. com. Tickets are also available at Sister Wolf Books and Beagle Books.