New Director’s Chair Article for Southern Fried Funeral

Southern Fried Funeral

Southern Fried Fun for the Whole Family!

 By Linda Sustman

 This comedy, full of family intrigue, is set in a small Mississippi town. The play’s action takes place over several days when family and friends gather after Dewey Frye has dropped dead telling a joke at the Rotarian’s meeting. His widow, Dorothy, is faced with the realities of widowhood and a crazy assemblage of southern personalities.

The characters are as colorfully wacky as you’d find in any southern neighborhood and the relationships are as richly diverse. Dorothy played by Marsha Propps is a veteran actress. She uses her skills to bring this strong southern woman to life. She is the mother of three children.  Jayne Heckman returns to the stage doing a brilliant job as Harlene, the black sheep daughter who ran off to Dallas at the first opportunity. After 10 years Harlene returns to the annoyance of her sister Sammy Jo. This daughter personifies perfection in everything she does. Portrayed by Sandy Dyke, she makes you believe she is the epitome of a true southern belle. Dewey Jr., aka “Dew Drop”, who’s daft in a sweetly weird way is played by Brian Cantrell. This is Brian’s second play of the season. He does a fine job in both!

Adding to the equation is Dub Frye, the late Dewey’s dastardly brother, with just the right blend of condescension and smarmy Southern charm. Played by Les Maurseth who rejoins the acting ranks after directing Pinewood Player’s first play of the season. The cast also includes Atticus Van Leer, the Frye family’s consigliere (that’s “lawyer” for all you hicks out there). Scott Sustman plays this role as only a veteran actor can!  This is Scott’s second play of the season.  Sammy Jo’s husband is Beecham, who loves her even though she’s overbearing and bossy. Gene Propps is excellent in this role.  He has appeared in several Pinewood plays. Martha Ann is the widow’s best friend who is caring but a bit snarky at times. Returning to the stage, is Barbara Maurseth. She really does a fine job with this role!  New to Pinewood Player’s is Kathy Vogt. She plays the part of Ozella, the overzealous chairman of the “Son Shine” Committee at the church! Kathy is excellent in this role even if she might have stolen a pair of candlesticks from a prior funeral. Fairy June is another contemporary of the widow Dorothy. This part calls for Sandy Kyle to act the part of a ditsy friend. Sandy will have you believing she is that character! Bob Flach is another newcomer to the stage. As Benny Charles, he plays the best friend of the deceased. Bob does a great job as he tries to keep a steady head while keeping his toupee on!

Southern Fried Funeral is genuinely funny while delving into a cast of characters that offer a view into Southern manners, traditions and family dynamics at their best and worst. Bless their lil’ hearts!

Performances Friday/Saturday August 3, 4, 10, 11 Curtain at 7 PM & Sunday Aug 5 & 12 at 2:30 PM.

Order Tickets at: www.pinewoodplayers.com Or Call  928 300-0481