Review by Jan Toth
I haven’t made it to any of the Pinewood Players productions for a couple of years. Boy do I miss that, especially after seeing this play, Dearly Beloved! This is the story of three sisters, the singing Sermonettes, who gather in their home town of Fayro, Texas for the wedding of Frankie Futrelle Dubberly’s twin daughter, Tina Jo. As in a lot of families, the three sisters have been harboring a family feud. Two sisters, Frankie and Twink have been on the “outs” with sister Honey Raye for many years. But Honey Raye, played by the ever amazing and talented, Cheryl Parker, is home for her nieces wedding and to tell her sisters that she is moving back. A recently deceased citizen has left her a home and his business. I particularly loved her accent… can I get one too?
Twink, played hilariously by Pam Uveges, is very upset to see Honey Raye back and doesn’t hesitate to tell her. Twink is also in charge of the wedding dinner, and in her efforts to “save money,” the dinner becomes a potluck, a very sketchy pot luck! Twink also has an ulterior motive to make sure this wedding goes off as scheduled. She has met with a “Psychic” played by Dovie Templin, who tells her that she sees Twink getting married IF her boyfriend of 15 years hears wedding vows within 24 hours! Oh, my does that inspire Twink to see that the wedding goes off as planned and on time.
Mother of the bride, Frankie Futrelle Dubberly, is played perfectly by Ele Parrott and her real life husband, Don Parrott, is also her husband in this production. They had a lot of chemistry!! Dub has a secret that Frankie thinks she has figured out… The “Gone with the Wind” dress Frankie wore fit the wedding theme perfectly, and there were audible gasps when Honey Raye entered in her black and gold dress or maybe long blouse.
The bride and her twin sister, Gina Jo were both played by Lori Prescott. I recognized the name but not sure if I have seen her in plays or somewhere else. I’ll remember her now! She was excellent in this production. Even though Tina Jo was only in the very beginning of the play, Lori used different tones and inflections for each character. Bravo!
Linda Morrison’s portrayal of the soon-to-be evil mother-in-law made for automatic dislike and laughter as she gets her comeuppance. Patsy Price tries to stop the marriage and pays her son to break it off. To her dismay, John Curtis, the Sheriff, heads out to catch the runaway couple but gets back and tells the two families that the two lovebirds, were already married. John Curtis is played by Rich Dahl who does his usual superb job.
In order to get her boyfriend, Wiley Hicks, to the wedding, Twink over medicates the ailing Wiley. Larry Clow as Wiley is wonderful. Over the years, I’ve fallen in love with Chip Christensen’s “drunks,” but Larry Clow can definitely fill the bill. The Wedding Coordinator/Flower Shop Owner/Bus Stop manager is played by Dolores Lanier. She had several great one-liners as she tried to keep the wedding guests occupied while the Sheriff brought the bride and groom back. Luckily the bride’s twin sister Gina Jo was available to don the veil and hopefully keep the guest satisfied. The “boy” Gina Jo is interested in turns out to be Justin Waverly, played by Darvin Bussey. Justin is a seminary student working at UPS and now standing in for the Minister who was taken to the drunk tank. He is nervous and often prays for the Lord’s assistance since he’s never done this before. He also prays for the Lord to give him a sign that the girl he has a crush on is interested in him. Guess who the girl is!
Frankie starts out with a worried look, and a lot of talking to her recently deceased mother, not just because of all the chaos to the wedding, but she’s worried that Dub is cheating on her and she’s been going more often to a doctor, and the test results are in! No, I’m not going to tell you. Dub is cooking all the meat in a pit out back of the Fellowship Hall in his white tux! I could smell the aroma in row E!
So we end with: Do the bride and groom return? Is Dub cheating on Frankie? Do the Sermonettes reunite? Does Twink get her man? Does Honey Raye find husband number six? Is Gina Jo interested in Justin or just his uniform? And last but not least, what is wrong with Frankie?
The actors as always are amazing each and every one of them. It was a most enjoyable experience and a fun time.
The Pinewood Players sets are always the star of the show and there were many things in the set that were so well done. Kudos to you all. There is a new “thing” – a lighted window size back drop off to the left that allows the actors to have different “sets” behind them pertinent to the play. For instance the flower shop; train station, back yard of the church for the bbq pit. It’s a nice addition and probably a lot easier than making and changing sets. The only down side was the gentleman in the row in front of me totally blocked the people who were in front of the screen, but only for the first half of the play.
If you get a chance, please see this play directed by the inimitable, Lynn Rouyer. You will recognize her from performances in the past and also her directing of other productions. Great play, Great actors, great sets and all around great people!