Terminal Lunch served with music, laughter

Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST - Terminal Lunch is re-opening in Amherst Sept. 20.

Actors and actresses have been rehearsing the musical Terminal Lunch at the Wandlyn Inn's Scotia Room since June. Some of the performers in the play are: (in front of bar, from left) Cathy Chappell-Legere, Susan Robichaud, Dean Russell-Trueman, Stephanie Moreau, (behind bar, from left) Katherine Hathaway, Barb Sharples, Ronnie Rayworth, Tony Robichaud, and Mark Raddin. 

AMHERST - Terminal Lunch is re-opening in Amherst Sept. 20.

"There used to be a diner in downtown Amherst right next to the Acadian bus terminal called Terminal Lunch," said Mark Raddin, director of Terminal Lunch, a musical, produced by the Amherst Comedy Troupe. "The bus terminal and diner were all in one building,

"The picture of the diner was actually in Playboy magazine. They had a section in Playboy about strange signs."

The musical takes place during one rainy day in 1972.

"It's about a writer writing a book called Terminal Lunch," said Raddin. "She visits this place for inspiration. She can't find her ending and this is the day the ending of her story came to her.

"I think the music is going to blow people away," he added. "Especially with the talent we have in the group."

The cast has 11 actors and actresses, the biggest ensemble Raddin has worked with.

"It a challenge, but it's fun too," said Raddin. "Being a director is like being a baby sitter. There's just more kids to babysit in this play."

The musical has five newcomers, including Stephanie Moreau.

Although she's never acted before, Moreau said she feels ready.

"I wasn't apprehensive at first because I didn't know what I was getting into but now I have anxiety attacks five nights a week," she said with a laugh.

She says acting is a challenge.

"You look at parts of yourself you don't necessarily like. It's a raw experience."

It's also a new experience for Susan and Tony Robichaud.

"Being in a play or a musical, if you've never done it before, takes you out of your comfort zone," said Susan.

Tony has played on stage in many bands but said playing guitar in a play is new to him.

"I've been playing music since I was little but Mark wrote me a part and got me on stage, so that's new for me too. It's a completely different world," he said.

Raddin has written many plays for the Amherst Comedy Troupe and said Terminal Lunch was more challenging than most.

"I started writing the play four years ago but I was never happy with where it was going. It was too serious," he said. "But I loved the music and I kept writing the music for it."

Raddin wrote 20 songs for the play but whittled the number down to 12.

He said he thought the was going to be more serious, 'about life, death, hunger and dreams.'

"It's still about that but very light," he said. "We have a lot of fun music in this play but we have a few serious songs. It's well mixed up. There's a lot of nice harmony through it all."

Raddin said he remembers going in the Terminal Lunch Diner.

"They were famous for their chicken salad sandwiches," he said. "I don't know how anybody can be famous for chicken salad sandwiches but that's what they were famous for."

Writing about a real historical site that people remember had its challenges as well.

"When I started writing it everybody was saying, ‘you have to do this, you have to do that,' and I ended up not being able to do any of it because it was too much, so there's no resemblance to anybody living or dead.

The finished product is nothing like what he first set out to write.

"Sometimes plays take on their own life, and this one did. Musically, it's better than I thought it was going to be."

Terminal Lunch runs for three weekends, Friday and Saturday, beginning Sept. 20-21, then Sept. 27-28, and the last weekend is Oct. 4 and 5.

The play starts at 8 p.m., and has a running time of two hours.

Canapes will be served before the show and desert is served at intermission.







Organizations: Terminal Lunch, Playboy magazine

Geographic location: AMHERST

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Recent comments

  • Vj Allen
    September 13, 2013 - 09:10

    Back in the 60's, a friend used to spend hours sitting in Terminal Lunch jotting notes on the comings and goings of the town and her reflections on life (teenage angst, I guess). Perhaps the same Muse is helping the writer "who visits this place for inspiration"! Best of luck to the Amherst Comedy Troupe - break a leg.

  • JMC
    September 13, 2013 - 07:22

    Should you wish to have any information about the Terminal Lunch in 1972, please let me know as my Dad ran it! I wish I could come to see this,

  • JMC
    September 13, 2013 - 07:20

    Should you wish to have any information about the Terminal Lunch in 1972, please let me know as my Dad ran it! I wish I could come to see this,