Shining a Light on Who We Are: AFT presents “Bing! The Cherry Musical”

(Left to right) Pamela Niespodziani, Molly Rhode, Doug Mancheski, Chase Stoeger and Raeleen Mcmillion grace the stage in AFT’s new production of Bing! The Cherry Musical. Photo by Dan Eggert.

This year AFT presents a new original work, Bing! The Cherry Musical, written by Dave Hudson and Paul Libman, who also authored the hit Cheeseheads, the Musical.
Bing! The Cherry Musical is the story of a family that returns to the cherry orchard they’ve owned for years. Now they must decide whether or not to sell it. The story is based very loosely on The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov.
Holly Feldman, Manager of Marketing and Audience Development at AFT said, “This story is more lighthearted. There are many local places that the play mentions, like Wilson’s Ice Cream Parlor and the A.C. Tap. Of course there’s also a romance between the daughter of the family and one the young caretakers of the property.”
Before each show AFT members will invite audience participation in a cherry pit spit, right in the theater. The winner gets their name mentioned during the show.
“That was an idea from the writers, and we’ve followed through with it,” Feldman said.
Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & Market generously provides cherries and a little prize for all the participants.
There are many fun songs revolving around cherries that act as a counterweight to some of the tough decisions the characters have to make.
“It’s like shining a light on who we are, turning it up just a little brighter, and that makes it more celebratory,” Feldman said. “We might as well take pride in who we are and what we have. It’s writing about that in a funny, quirky and sentimental way.”
Bing! The Cherry Musical plays Mondays at 8 pm, Wednesdays at 6 pm, and Fridays at 8 pm. Call 854.6117 for more information or advance tickets.