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Real estate, real funny
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Some people just have theatre in the blood.

When City Lights Theatre Artistic Director Jim Holt was studying for his real estate license recently, he was inspired to -- what else? -- write a play.

“The stuff is so detailed and wacky, I started thinking funny things about it,” laughs Holt with typical self-deprecating humor. “I hope this is not going to ruin my career in real estate -- or in the theatre.”

The farce, entitled Open House, premieres this weekend at the Lucas Theatre.

Holt, who has written and produced two plays previous to this one, says the cast is not only very good, it’s very large.

Employing probably the majority of currently active thespians in the entire area, Open House packs them all -- Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World style -- into this comedy about an open house set in fictional “Ansley Park.”

“There’s this one house for sale, and everyone comes by to take a look at it,” Holt says. “There’s a developer that wants to buy it so he can tear it down and build condos on both sides of the street. There’s a yuppie couple that wants it, and a gay couple from San Francisco. There’s an old man and his wife that try to buy it.”

Surely, with so many of his old friends and fellow actors in the cast -- as well as wife Jody Chapin and son Nicholas Holt -- few could resist the temptation to improvise and ad-lib Holt’s script, right?

“No, they’re doing it word for word,” Holt says with some surprise. “I don’t quite understand why, because they don’t always do that for other plays we do.”

Cast members include Grace Tootle, Jody Chapin, Paula Hunt, Eva Elmer, Ron Goodwin, Les Taylor, Steve Smith, Linda Coe, Nicole Koplik, Steve Pruitt, Bailey Davidson, Nicholas Holt and Malcolm McArthur. w

Open House by Jim Holt premieres Nov. 17, 18, 19 and 20 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. at the Lucas Theatre.

Call 234-9860 for reservations.