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A Class Act Productions Presents a Devilish New Comedy

(Poster design courtesy A Class Act Productions)

Heaven or Hell? ...Well, it's a toss up! Come see the premiere of the new Jeff Tenney play, "Even the Devil Likes a Good Story," where the Devil has to decide what to do with some of the more controversial and, in some cases, notorious figures in history, including Mark Twain, Tammy Faye Bakker, the Ayatollah Khomeni, and Christopher Hitchens--"all of whom," says Tenney, "have some sort of a reputation in the afterlife that they have to deal with when they get there."  The production of Tenney's play, just completed earlier this year, is by George Cron's "A Class Act Productions" and will take place in the "Blue Room" at Billiards of Springfield, 541 E. St. Louis Street, just in time for the local Skepticon convention... scheduling that was entirely" intentional," says Tenney. "Actually, I was thinking about Skepticon and that audience. I first wrote a more serious piece, then I thought 'Wait a minute! They've been listening to serious stuff all day in workshops--let's give 'em something to laugh at." He adds, "I never thought a writing a play until I moved to this community about three years ago."

The production's director, Amy Newsome, says she's a "really big supporter of local playwrights.  I love to produce new stuff." She singles out David Logan, saying "he's doing wonderfully" playing the lead role of the Devil. "It's typecasting," jokes Logan. In the production, Logan says Satan embodies different "characters depending on who he's talking tol.  Like when I talk to (Christopher) Hitchens," and he affects a proper upper-crust British accent. For his conversations with Mark Twain he talks with a "South'n plantation ownah-type effect... but at the root of things (Satan)'s a Texan!"

Amy Newsome notes that Jesus also makes an appearance in the show (as does Mohammed)... only this Jesus is female.  How did that casting decision come about? She laughs and says, "Jeff said I could do it, so I said 'okay'!" Jeff Tenney explains: "Part of the deal here is that in this afterlife, things can be a little flexible, plastic, so people can look like what they want to look like"--even assume a different gender.

All three acknowledge that the Devil "has his hands full" with this group of famous folk.  "He doesn't know what to do with this group, actually," says David Logan. Adds playwright Jeff Tenney, "he's kinda sorry he woke up that day!"

Performances of "Even the Devil Likes a Good Story" by George Cron's "A Class Act Productions", will be Thursday through Sunday Nov.20-23 at Billiards of Springfield, 541 E. St.Louis Street.  Tickets are $6.50 (Cron says he flirted with the idea of setting the ticket price at $6.66, but decided that was too complicated!), and food and drinks will be available.  Must be 18 or older.  For more information call 766-3139 or email

Randy Stewart joined the full-time KSMU staff in June 1978 after working part-time as a student announcer/producer for two years. His job has evolved from Music Director in the early days to encompassing production of a wide range of arts-related programming and features for KSMU, including the online and Friday morning Arts News. Stewart assists volunteer producers John Darkhorse (Route 66 Blues Express), Lee Worman (The Gold Ring), and Emily Higgins (The Mulberry Tree) with the production of their programs. He's also become the de facto "Voice of KSMU" in recent years due to the many hours per day he’s heard doing local station breaks. Stewart’s record of service on behalf of the Springfield arts community earned him the Springfield Regional Arts Council's Ozzie Award in 2006.