Some people long for Hummels – the tiny porcelain figurines of children in lederhosen. Some people long for love. And some people long for love and Hummels, and they’ll be gathered at the North American Convention of the M.I. Hummel Club at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on September 7 to watch I < 3 Hummels, a sensation of the 2012 DC Capital Fringe Festival.
I < 3 Hummels tells the story of Raymond (James Radack), a gentle introvert who has a passion for collecting Hummels. The head of the local collectors club (Wendy Wilmer) wants to set him up with her daughter (Heather Whitpan) – who, as it turns out, hates the Hummels! Fortunately, Raymond can resort to the guidance of Greta (Rebecca A. Herron) who, um, runs a sex line and…well, you’d have to see it.
Christian Barclay did – for DC Theatre Scene – and in this review she said, “This charming production makes for a great date night, a welcome escape from summer blockbuster boredom. And who knows? Those tiny cherubs might inspire you to pick up a new hobby.”
Someone in the Hummel-collecting community agrees. Karen Debow, a director of the Hummel Club, says that the organization was alerted to the production by word of mouth. “when we heard glowing reviews about I <3 Hummels from collectors who attended a performance in D.C., we knew this would be perfect for our biannual Convention.”
LiveArtDC, which produced I< 3 Hummels, will be performing the show in Vegas with much the same cast – including Radack, Wilmer, Whitpan and Herron. Kevin Finkelstein, who directed the 2012 production, will also be at the helm for the convention’s production.
“We’re so excited to remount this play for DC area theatre-goers and introduce Raymond, Heidi, Greta and Mrs. Klein for the first time to hundreds of Hummel collectors in Las Vegas,” Whitpan said. “Ever since we received the invitation to perform at the Hummel Club Convention, we’ve had a permagrin on our faces.”
Hummel figurines are based on original drawings which Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, O.S.F. did during the 1930s. The head of a German porcelain-products manufacturer liked the drawings and began manufacturing them on porcelain figurines. They became popular in the U.S. when soldiers stationed in Germany after the second War sent them home as gifts in large numbers.