All the actors in “Forrest Guppy” can turn accents on and off like kitchen faucets.
During a rehearsal Tuesday, thick Alabama accents, bright “tourist” tones, military barking and President Donald Trump’s distinctive drawl were bandied about, dropping on and off as the actors paused to ask about a stage cue or run back through a scene again. The accents, as well as the plot line, hew pretty close to the source material — the classic 1990s film “Forrest Gump.”
With, of course, a barrel of fish references.
Triumvirate Theatre is planning a revival of its “Forrest Guppy” dinner theater show, last performed in 2010, for March 23 and 24 and March 30 and 31. The show, a fundraiser for the community theater, features a three-course prime rib dinner at Mykel’s Restaurant in Soldotna, the show and an art auction.
Featuring a full cast of characters drafted from the movie — including Triumvirate’s resident stuffed fish Whappy as Jenny — the show follows the general plot, but recasts it on the Kenai Peninsula. Local inside jokes and fishing culture references abound, including Lieutenant Dan as a fishing guide on the Russian River, dipnetter references, plastic crabs on a Bering Sea crabbing vessel and the little change that instead of Forrest Gump’s human love interest, Jenny is a giant salmon.
This year’s version includes a number of updates, too. For one, President Donald Trump and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders make an appearance. Trump is played by Tyler Payment, who is reprising the role from Triumvirate’s fall 2016 “Lame Ducks and Dark Horses” political satire show, and Sanders is played by Hannah Tauriainen.
Chris Jenness, who plays a number of characters throughout the show, said the troupe rewrote much of the script for the update, including re-recording Chris Pepper’s voiceover as Forrest Guppy.
“I’d say (we rewrote) about half of it,” he said.
The play is also a blast from the past for Triumvirate. For the last 13 years, the troupe has put on a dinner theater show as a fundraiser, but the 2010 “Forrest Guppy” show was the first time they performed at Mykel’s. The dinner theater shows have been there every year since, Jenness said.
The show runs from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. at Mykel’s in Soldotna. Tickets are $48 and are available on Ticketleap.