The Spitfire Grill

The Spitfire Grill

December 3-18, 2010 in the Drury Theatre at The Bartell
produced in partnership with Madison Theatre Guild
Music and Book by James Valcq with Lyrics and Book by Fred Alley


In this Off-Broadway musical a feisty parolee (Percy) follows her dreams, based on a page from an old travel book, to a small town in Wisconsin and finds a place for herself working at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill. It is for sale but there are no takers for the only eatery in the depressed town, so newcomer Percy suggests to Hannah that she raffle it off. Entry fees are one hundred dollars and the best essay on why you want the grill wins. Soon, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow full and things are definitely cookin’ at The Spitfire Grill.

Running time for this production is two hours.


Heartwarming and sentimental, The Spitfire Grill is a great holiday show to see with family or friends. But be careful: its charming depiction of small town life might have you packing your bags for Gilead, wherever that may be.
– Amelia Cook, The Isthmus: Small-town Wisconsin beckons in charming musical The Spitfire Grill

Spitfire Grill” offers a wholesome meal with local flavor to audiences who wouldn’t mind something homemade and on the sweet side.
– Rena Archwamety, 77 Square: Spitfire Grill serves up a warm meal of songs, feel-good moments


All performances are in the Drury Theatre at The Bartell (113 E. Mifflin Street, just off the capitol square in Madison).

  • Friday, December 3 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 4 at 7:30 pm
  • Thursday, December 9 at 7:30 pm
  • Friday, December 10 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 11 at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, December 12 at 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, December 16 at 7:30 pm
  • Friday, December 17 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 18 at 7:30 pm

Worried about the Ice & Snow in the forecast? Please see our Inclement Weather Policy.


Tickets for The Spitfire Grill are $20.

Please note:

Online sales for each performance end 24 hours before the show as we need time to process the orders.  At this time there are tickets available for all performances.

The Bartell Lobby will open one hour before the performance with in person ticket sales starting at that time.  All seating is general admission.

Worried about the Ice & Snow in the forecast? Please see our Inclement Weather Policy.


Hannah Ferguson: Marja Barger

Shelby Thorpe: Christine Callsen

Effy Krayneck: Leslie Cao

Caleb Thorpe: David Neuser

Joe Sutter: Jordan Peterson

The Visitor: Tim Irvin

Venue Information

The Drury Theatre is located in the Bartell Theatre at 113 East Mifflin Street in Madison, WI.  A second floor 190 seat theater, the Drury Theatre is wheelchair accessible.  All seating is general admission so arrive early to get the best seats. Concessions are sold in the Bartell lobby before the show and during intermission.

There is a city parking ramp at the corner of E. Mifflin Street and Webster.  Several restaurants are located nearby including the Mercury Diner, The Blue Marlin, and The Old-Fashioned.


In New York Magazine, John Simon wrote, “It is not often that material moves me to tears, but this was one of those occasions. The Spitfire Grill has the heart and soul that your Producers and Full Montys cannot begin to approach. What even in normal times would be a joy is, in these troubled ones, sheer nourishment.”

In 2000, The Spitfire Grill was presented with the Richard Rodgers Production Award, which is administered by The American Academy of Arts and Letters. Stephen Sondheim chaired the committee that chose the The Spitfire Grill as the winner. Other members of the committee included Lynn Ahrens, Jack Beeson, John Guare, Sheldon Harnick, R. W. B. Lewis, Richard Maltby, Jr., and Robert Ward.

The Off-Broadway production featured Phyllis Somerville as Hannah, Garrett Long as Percy, and Liz Callaway as Shelby and was directed by David Saint. The show received Best Musical nominations from the Outer Critics Circle and Drama League, as well as Drama Desk nominations for Garrett Long as Outstanding Actress in a Musical and Liz Callaway as Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Special Thanks to:

Support for this production has been provided by the Wisconsin Arts Board, Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, Madison Arts Commission, ETC Electronic Theatre Controls, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Park Printing.