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Albright Theater presents ‘Table Set’

Batavia’s Albright Theater kicks off its 50th season with a workplace comedy that hits close to home in today’s age of artificial intelligence.

“The Desk Set” by William Marchant will be performed at the Albright Theater in Batavia on February 16-17, March 24 and March 1-2 at 7:30 pm and February 25 at 2:30 pm. It is directed by Schaumburg native Ayden Lopez. Albright also makes his directorial debut.

“I heard about this last year when we were selecting shows for the new season for the Albright’s 50th anniversary celebration and thought it would be a great show. “We have been selected for the season,” he said. “I offered to direct. I thought the story was really funny and sweet.

“The Desk Set” follows the story of Bunny Watson, who has a great mind for facts and figures and works in the reference department of a television station.

When powerful computers (called electronic brains) are installed to do people’s jobs and threaten to replace entire departments, Bunny and her office girls spring into action to save their jobs.

“Shenanigans happen, miscommunication happens, and things backfire,” he said. Without giving away too much, everything works out in the end. Plus, there’s office romance, too.

He said that a parallel can be drawn between computers in the 1950s and the introduction of artificial intelligence into the world today.

“This series kind of reminds us of when computers were first installed in the workplace and people were like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to lose my job.'” said. “I thought it was appropriate for these days.”

He said the 12-man squad did a great job.

“I love the cast. “I have an incredible group of people to work with and they made my job so much easier,” he said.

Lopez has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in theater, but is much more comfortable acting than directing. He played Mr. Green in Albright’s last production, “Clue.”

“I’m stepping back into a professional environment (directing) for the first time in many years,” he said. “I was scared at first, I won’t lie. “I thought it was a daunting task to take on, but I love the show so much… and I think it’s going pretty well.”

The play is set in the 1950s, which proved a bit challenging for the young cast. However, he said that they rose to this task to an extraordinary degree.

“It’s definitely different. “They do some speaking stuff… but my actors did a great job of making it natural,” he said.

He said audiences will enjoy this show, which is not done very often.

“Everyone in the world needs a good welcome. “No matter who walks in, it’s very cute,” he said. “Everyone can find humor in this. The story is really lovely and everyone can relate to it.”

Next in Albright’s 50th season is “Macbeth,” which opens April 19.

‘Table-set’

When: 16 February-2 March

Where: Albright Community Theatre, 100 N. Island Ave., 3rd floor, Batavia

Tickets: $18-$23

Information: 630-406-8838; albrighttheatre.com

Annie Alleman is a freelance reporter for the Courier-News.

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