Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Chris Peppers, left, Delana Green (Duncan) and Rob Ernst joke with each other before a rehearsal for the Triumvirate Theatre's upcoming dinner theatre and auction on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at Mykel's Restaurant in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Chris Peppers, left, Delana Green (Duncan) and Rob Ernst joke with each other before a rehearsal for the Triumvirate Theatre's upcoming dinner theatre and auction on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at Mykel's Restaurant in Soldotna, Alaska.

May the fish be with you: Triumvirate actors to parody ‘Star Wars’

Light sabers and fish puns will abound in the latest annual dinner theater and auction put on by the Triumvirate Theatre.

While the two may not sound complementary, the acting group has been putting fishy spins on classic and popular films since the fundraiser began about 12 years ago, according to Joe Rizzo of Triumvirate. This year’s show, “Fish Wars: A Humpy Rises,” will parody both the film and local events and issues. It will play at 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, April 1 and April 2 at Mykel’s Restaurant in Soldotna.

A parody of “Star Wars” stood out as an obvious choice because of the franchise’s popularity, as well as the latest addition to the series being recently released, Rizzo said.

“The trickiest part about choosing a fish parody is, can you have a punny title?” Rizzo said. “You have to find a lot of fish parodies to really make the title work, and the title’s kind of important to selling it.”

A $48 ticket will get an attendee a three-course meal at Mykel’s, followed by the parody show before the auction. All funds raised during the event will go to help Triumvirate Theatre operate throughout the year, Rizzo said.

One reason viewers return to the show is consistency, according to Rizzo. Ever since the first dinner theater event, the actors have incorporated a large, stuffed fish named “Wappy,” sometimes as a prop and other times as a major character.

There is also a running joke that a member of the group came up with for the first performance that has been resurrected in every show since.

“And people, like waiting for Hitchcock, they wait for that line,” Rizzo said.

Scripts for the shows are written by Carla Jenness, and pull heavily from the current events and goings on of the local area. Because all of the actors live on the central Kenai Peninsula, it’s not hard to find material the audience will appreciate, Rizzo said.

“Especially if it’s an election year, there’s lots of election stuff that you can throw in there,” he said. “We’re a big part of the community, we live in the community so we’re aware of — when Fred Meyer is doing a remodel … we’re going to mention it somewhere along the line.”

Another fun aspect of the annual dinner theater is that it allows the group to incorporate more of its adult actors, Rizzo said. While Jenness originally writes the parodies, group members all contribute by weighing in on the content throughout the process, said her husband, Chris Jenness.

The first read-through often yields plenty of good brainstorming and ideas to flesh out the material, he said.

“That’s where like the script really sort of comes to life, and everybody starts adding in this idea and that idea,” Jenness said.

The auction portion of the fundraiser is also set to impress, including items such as a train trip to Fairbanks and tickets for local airlines.

“We’re still collecting them,” Chris Jenness said. “We have a lot of local art, but we also have some sort of bigger-ticket items.”

This is the first year the group has expanded to four shows over two weekends, he said. Both he and Rizzo said no one knew when the fundraiser first started that it would be such a hit.

“The interesting thing to me has been to watch all these, you know, middle-aged people be 12-year-old kids again,” Rizzo said.

 

For tickets, visit triumviratetheatre.ticketleap.com.

 

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com

 

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Props ranging from a storm trooper mask to a stuffed fish named "Wappy" cover a table in preparation for a Triumvirate Theatre rehearsal on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at Mykel's Restaurant in Soldotna, Alaska. The group will perform the latest of its annual dinner theatre and auction events, "Fish Wars: The Humpy Rises," beginning March 25.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Props ranging from a storm trooper mask to a stuffed fish named “Wappy” cover a table in preparation for a Triumvirate Theatre rehearsal on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at Mykel’s Restaurant in Soldotna, Alaska. The group will perform the latest of its annual dinner theatre and auction events, “Fish Wars: The Humpy Rises,” beginning March 25.

More in Life

The 10 participants in season 9 of “Alone,” premiering on May 26, 2022, on the History Channel. Terry Burns of Homer is the third from left, back. Another Alaskan in the series, Jacques Tourcotte of Juneau, is the fourth from left, back. (Photo by Brendan George Ko/History Channel)
Homer man goes it ‘Alone’

Burns brings lifetime of wilderness experience to survival series

Thes chocolate chip cookie require no equipment, no pre-planning, and are done from start to finish in one hour. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Forever home chocolate chip cookies

This past week I moved into my first forever home

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: This purge won’t be a movie sequel

What’s forthcoming is a very rare occurrence and, in my case, uncommon as bifocals on a Shih Tzu puppy

File
Being content with what you don’t know

How’s your negative capability doing?

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
Local Tlingit beader Jill Kaasteen Meserve is making waves as her work becomes more widely known, both in Juneau and the Lower 48.
Old styles in new ways: Beader talks art and octopus bags

She’s been selected for both a local collection and a major Indigenous art market

A copy of “The Fragile Earth” rests on a typewriter on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Seeking transformation in the face of catastrophe

Potent words on climate change resonate across decades

Gochujang dressing spices up tofu, lettuce, veggies and sprouts. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Healthy life starts with healthy food

Gochujang salad dressing turns veggies and tofu into an exciting meal

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Spring Fever

“OK, Boomer” is supposed to be the current put down by the “woke generation”

A headstone for J.E. Hill is photographhed in Anchorage, Alaska. (Findagrave.com)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 2

“Bob,” he said, “that crazy fool is shooting at us.”

File
Minister’s Message: Has spring sprung in your life?

Christ also offers us an eternal springtime of love, hope and life

Eggs Benedict are served with hollandaise on a bed of arugula and prosciutto. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Honoring motherhood, in joy and in sorrow

Many who have suffered this loss believe they must bear it in silence for the sake of propriety

Page from Seward daily gateway. (Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, Juneau, A.K.)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 1

Night Falls on the Daylight Kid—Part One By Clark Fair