Dee and Nedra Pace have starred as sweethearts, onstage and in life, for multiple decades.
But the Willard theater partners really have to act for their current production. They co-star as an arguing divorced couple in "Pirated!," opening a week from tonight at the Heritage Community Theatre.
"This makes it so we don't have to argue at home," joked Dee Pace, who plays cheapskate film studio head Roger Marshall in the musical comedy set in the 1930s. "We fight onstage, and we get it out of our systems."
Nedra Pace plays Gloria Le Duc, Roger's ex, and one of very few silent film stars who has made an easy transition to talkies. The rest of Roger's performers are either attractive silent film stars with ear-wrenching voices, or unattractive voice actors who provide singing and lines to be dubbed in for their more eye-friendly counterparts.
"We don't disagree much in real life, so this has been a fun change," Nedra Pace said.
One of the Paces' other co-starring gigs for Heritage Community Theatre was a few years back, in "The Music Man."
Dee Pace played con man Harold Hill opposite Nedra Pace's Marian Paroo. Although Harold and Marian had a few minor spats, they ended up sweethearts by the final curtain.
By the end of "Pirated!," Gloria is pointing a revolver in Roger's direction. In this play, the happiest ending goes to Roger's mousy daughter and her voice-actor beau.
The musical is by Jim Christian, head of the Weber State University musical theater program. Originally known as "Pirated Penzance," the show debuted at WSU in the fall of 1993 and has been produced locally several times over the years.
In "Pirated!," the era of silent films is over, but Marshall Studios sees an opportunity to hire out-of-work silent film actors at budget prices. Roger Marshall hopes to shoot "The Pirates of Penzance" in one take, dubbing in voices of talented vocalists.
And it looks like his plan might work, until the vocalists rebel against low pay and tap-dancing cops try to sort the whole thing out.
Think "The Pirates of Penzance" meets "Singin' in the Rain."
"It's a very talented cast and a great production," Dee Pace said. "And the woman who plays Gloria isn't bad, either."
l WHAT: 'Pirated!'
l WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, June 4-26; 2 p.m. June 12 and 19.
l WHERE: Heritage Community Theatre, 2505 S. U.S. 89, Perry
l TICKETS: $9, $8/seniors and students. (435) 723-8392.