Director’s Chair

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

Aspirin & Elephants

 A Play About … LIFE

by Les Maurseth

Pinewood Players has presented many excellent plays of various kinds – from musicals to farces.  They were all good plays, good entertainment, and fun to perform in.

For my directorial debut, I went searching for a play about real life.  I wanted a play that all of you could relate to, enjoy and talk about long after seeing a performance.  After all, we put on plays for the community and beyond to enjoy, and we want you to keep coming back.

It was not an easy task.  There are many more musicals, farces, and far-out comedies to choose from than plays about real life.  But, I persisted.  Found some that were beautiful life stories but the characters didn’t fit the demographics here.  Finally found a play that fit.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was close.  I read it several times.  Before I could order it, and by pure happenstance, I came across Aspirin & Elephants.  It is about … LIFE.  I knew immediately it was what I was looking for.  Isn’t it funny how that sort of thing happens sometimes in … LIFE?

This play is the story of a upper middle class husband and wife who take their two daughters and their husbands on a cruise in the Baltic Sea.  He is recovering from a heart attack; she is doting on him to help him recover.  He has to take an aspirin a day and periodically his chest feels like an elephant is tap dancing on it – hence the name of the play Aspirin & Elephants.

Dad is like a lion with a thorn in his paw, and Mom keeps trying to pull it out.  Their daughters have their own issues with their lives, their husbands, and their concern for their father.  As they all deal with their issues (all enhanced by the close quarters), two primary things appear – emotion and humor.

This play will show you how they navigate life on this cruise.  This is an enjoyable story about … LIFE.  Everybody will relate to at least one issue presented, some many.  You’ll have to attend to see which/how many you relate to.  But, you will enjoy it no matter how many.  After all, it’s about … LIFE and we all enjoy that!

Come along with us on our cruise, onboard the Royal Norway in the Baltic Sea.  Your seat will provide you with a view into three different staterooms and the lives of the couple that resides in each.  You will see each couple, and the family, deal with life issues – financial, sex, love, marriage, social issues, jealousy, dislike, etc.  Watching them deal with all those issues will keep you laughing, even after you begin to feel the emotion.

Cast:

Joe Burton                    Gina Burton

Brian Cantrell              Elyse Webber

Scott Sustman              Terry Brown

Order tickets online at www.pinewoodplayers.com

or call 928-300-0481

Performance dates: June 15, 16, 22, & 23 at 7 PM and June 17 & 24 at 2:30 PM

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