BWW Previews: POPCORN FALLS at Snug Theatre Brings Kernels of Wisdom to Marine City During Memorial Day Weekend

For Broadway actor and playwright James Hindman, eight is not enough.

The Michigan native, who grew up in Mt. Clemens and was in all the plays at L'Anse Creuse High School and Eastern Michigan University, has been back home from NYC this week tweaking and perfecting his ninth play, POPCORN FALLS, Hindman's newest work, a crazy, fast-paced comedy, a la WAITING FOR GUFFMAN meets GREATER TUNA, makes a return visit to the Snug Theatre in Marine City.

Last summer the premiere of POPCORN FALLS was a smash hit for The Riverbank Theatre, extending its run twice and playing to sold-out crowds. Starting tonight, it will play four benefit performances through May 27. All proceeds will go to the Riverbank Stage Festival & Performing Arts Academy.

"POPCORN FALLS celebrates the magic of theatre, the creation of art and how it feeds our souls," Hindman said. "It embraces the spirit of individuality, the uniqueness of spirit and the joy of finding our one true selves."

Hindman, his fellow cast member Tom Souhrada and their director, two- time Tony Award winner Christian Borle, got into town on Monday and have been putting the finishing touches on this side-splitting farce.

"Both of the actors in this play need to be fearless. They must embrace the quirkiness of the characters," said Hindman. "One of the challenges of the play is that they must switch from one character to another in the blink of an eye, without the aid of costumes, wigs or make-up--it's like a magic act."

Hindman and Souhrada play all 18 roles, men and women of all ages, which Hindman says he's based on his Michigan family and friends, including the lead female character Becky Zarna Fox. Fox, her real name, and Hindman did community theatre together back in the days of the now-closed Anchor Bay Players in Mt. Clemens.

"I've been really homesick for Detroit and wanting to be a part of this theatre community," said Hindman who's musical, THE BIKINIS that he co-wrote with Ray Roderick, was performed at Meadow Brook Theatre in June 2015.

Broadway favorite Borle guides Hindman and Souhrada in this zany comedy that puts the local residents of Popcorn Falls up to the daunting task of putting on a play in less than a week. They need to raise money for their newly bankrupt town after its namesake has dried up and the tourists have stopped coming.

Hindman initially wrote POPCORN FALLS with the intent that his two actor buddies, Tom Souhrada and Borle, would originate the roles. But when Borle's back-to-back Broadway performance schedule in SOMETHING ROTTEN, FALSETTOS and, recently, as Willy Wonka in WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY prevented him from starring in POPCORN FALLS, Hindman decided to take on Borle's part with Souhrada, whom he met when they were in MARY POPPINS on Broadway together.

"Though POPCORN FALLS is set in upstate New York, in my mind, it's what really changed the tiny, adorable town of Marine City," said Hindman. "I wanted to celebrate the power that the Snug Theatre had and how art really can transform a city."

You can see how POPCORN FALLS transforms Marine City when it plays May 24-27 for only four performances in the Snug Theatre at 160 S. Water St., Mich. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $28 each. Go to www.riverbanktheatre.com to order general admission tickets. POPCORN FALLS runs 90 minutes and is performed without an intermission.

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