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'A-list' actors will stage 'Sirens'

Sam and Rose, played by Jeff Chalmers and Michelle Meyer, embrace during rehearsal of the romantic comedy "Sirens" debuting Valentine's Day at Hobgoblin Music Loft.

What do an anniversary, a cruise ship, an original classic love song, Facebook, an island, a Siren and an old flame have to do with one another?

The uncommon elements melt together to create the romantic comedy "Sirens," presented by the Soapbox Players on Valentine's Day at Hobgoblin Music Loft in Red Wing.

The script is relatively new, written in 2012 by Deborah Zoe Laufer of the Actors Theatre in Louisville with original music by Matt Callahan.

"It is really well written," said director Min MartinOakes, taking on another Soapbox Players production. Her past shows include "Shirley Valentine," "Loves Me Not," written with Michelle Meyer and "Necessary Targets."

"She has done an incredible job of capturing the dialogue of married couple, like finishing each other's sentences," MartinOakes said of Laufer. "I love the story, and the cast is all very much in love with the show."

"Sirens" is the story of Sam and Rose Abrams. Sam wrote a hit song 25 years ago to convince Rose to marry him. They have lived very well off the royalties, but he has not had another hit song since and has lost his passion for life, for his wife and for his music. Sam desperately wants to reconnect all three.

In celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary, they decide to do something special and embark on a cruise. However, Sam meets a noteworthy Siren, leaving his wife confused. In the midst of her confusion, Rose tries to rekindle a relationship with an old flame.

No, the romantic comedy is not your typical love story but has relevance and passion. "The show is very, very touching," MartinOakes said, "and is a hilarious story that offers funny and truthful insights about the nature of relationships."

The show comes together through a cast with 50 years of acting experience combined.

"I definitely feel like I have the A-list," MartinOakes said. "Everyone has worked with someone before and there is high trust level among them."

The four-member group includes Michelle Meyer as Rose and Jeff Chalmers as Sam. Jacqueline West plays a travel agent, waitress and the Siren. Ryan West, making his local stage debut, plays Richard Miller, Rose's old flame. The show was cast in November and practice began early this year.

After many years of directing, MartinOakes said she is more excited about this show than any she has done before.

"The script is so good and the actors are top-notch," she said, "We believe it is high quality entertainment and hope the show causes people to examine their own relationships -- there will be those moments with most couples when they realize 'Hey, do we do that?'"

Seating for Soapbox shows is limited and there are no advance reservations. Audience members are encouraged to arrive by 7 p.m. at the latest for the 7:30 p.m. show.

There are several performances of "Sirens" including opening night Thursday Feb. 14, Friday Feb. 15, Saturday Feb. 16, Friday Feb. 22 and Saturday Feb. 23. Tickets are $9.99 and are available only at the door. For more information call 651-388-8400.

At a glance...

Who: The Soapbox Players present the romantic comedy "Sirens" B>When: 7:30 Feb. 14, 15, 16, 22, and 23

Where: Hobgoblin Music Loft, 920 Highway 19

Cost: $9.99

More info: 651-388-8400 or 877-866-3936

Stacy Bengs-Silverberg

Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.

(651) 301-7880