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Brooke Hills Playhouse Presentation of ‘Nana Does Vegas’ Opens

Gia, the mob enforcer, played by Niccole Welch, surprises Nana (Sylvia Charles), played by Diana Mendel, in an unwelcome entry in Nana’s suite. “Nana Does Vegas” plays this weekend and next at Brooke Hills Playhouse. (Photo Provided)

WELLSBURG — “Nana Does Vegas” by Katherine DiSavino opens this weekend, May 27-29, and continues next weekend, June 3-5, at Brooke Hills Playhouse. Municipal Mutual Insurance Company and Reasner Funeral Home are season sponsors.

This is a show not to be missed, because the laughs do not stop.

Nana, Sylvia Charles, played by Diana Mendel of Wellsburg, moves to Las Vegas to work as a seamstress costuming showgirls for a Vegas casino. Her best friend, Vera Walters, played by Connie Knollinger-Wendel of Glen Dale, accompanied her and recently has added a side gig — about which Sylvia knows nothing.

Bridget Charles, Sylvia’s granddaughter, is played by Mendel’s real life granddaughter, Chelsey Barnhart of Follansbee, (who is also directing the show,) arrives in Vegas for her bridal shower weekend. She meets Dino Marino, played by Dan Harry of Bethany, the casino manager, who is romantically involved with Sylvia. But Dino works for the mob, and that might be a problem since the FBI is closing in. Even bigger trouble looms for Marino as suddenly his high roller profits seem to be dwindling, and the mob is concerned, very concerned.

Tom O’Grady, Bridget’s fiance, played by Richard Twist Oliver of Chester, has just joined the FBI and is in Vegas secretly. He and his partner, Jo, played by Renee Stock of Wellsburg, are bugging suites and people to bring justice to Vegas.

Rounding out the cast are Niccole Welch of Wellsburg who plays Gia , the mob’s enforcer; Russ Welch of Wellsburg, who plays gamer Frank, and Andrew Dillie of Wellsburg, who handles the roles of receptionist, croupier, and bellboy. Here is another family tie in the show as Niccole is Russ’s daughter.

Mendel is reprising her role as Nana as she was first asked to play the part three days before the opening of “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” in 2017 when another actress was unable to fulfill the part.

“I am not quite sure why Nana and I seem to keep getting together, but the bonus this time is that my granddaughter Chelsey and I get to play on stage together. That is Playhouse magic, and that is priceless!”

Playhouse veteran Russ Welch is playing alongside his daughter, Niccole, in a venue where his late wife, Paula, was a stalwart supporter of the arts as she also was president of the Brooke County Arts Council for many years, the Playhouse’s parent organization.

Show times are 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. The box office opens one hour prior to show times.

For more information, call or text 304-737-3344. Also check out the official Facebook pages for the Brooke Hills Playhouse and Brooke County Arts Council.

Brooke Hills Playhouse is located in Brooke Hills Park, Wellsburg.


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