Two one-act comedies by James McLure
Directed by Barbara Brownell
Opening the Group Rep’s 45th anniversary season are two beautifully written and directed one-act comedies by James McLure. We are front and center in small-town Texas.
First we have, "LAUNDRY AND BOURBON," in steamy hot 1970s Maynard, Texas. It’s HOT, and Elizabeth (Savannah Schoenecker) recognizes her marriage is faltering and is not what she imagined when she married high school sweetheart Roy. While folding laundry on the back porch, in walks spirited Hattie (Kristin Towers-Rowles) married to Vern who has known Elizabeth since high school. More of their life is revealed each time Elizabeth refills Hattie’s bourbon and Coke. Amy Lee (Sarah Zuk) is married to Cletis, a pocket-protector wearing, and son of an appliance store owner. They now belong to the country club. But Amy Lee is there to spread gossip about Roy to Elizabeth. As they say in the South, “Bless her heart.” It’s funny, animated and feisty.
"Laundry and Bourbon" L R Savannah Schoenecker Kristin Towers Rowles. Photo by Doug Engalla
Next one-act play is "LONE STAR," set at Angels Bar & Tavern, somewhere in Maynard, Texas. Roy (Nick Paonessa) is an ex-Vietnam Vet, and as drunk as a skunk. He’s reminiscing, and at some times agonizing to Ray (R.J. DeBard) about Lone Star Beer and Mars Bars, and their high school days filled with all the glory of that goes with being sports heros and the popular kids. Cletis (Todd Andrew Ball) is one of those kids that always felt inferior (and still wearing the pocket protector), and made to feel more so because of kids like Roy and Ray picking on him.
Both plays emphasize Roy’s beloved 1959 Pink Thunderbird as a symbol that is cherished and treasured by some, and by others as baring too much importance. Both plays are poignant and touching, and at the same time funny and extremely human. We see ourselves in Elizabeth, Hattie, Amy Lee, Roy, Ray and Cletis, drawing us into their lives, loves and secrets. With excellent writing by James McLure, as well as skilled direction by Barbara Brownell, amazing set design, as usual, by Chris Winfield, and Costume Design by Angela M. Eads, the Group Rep has a winner.
It is a great evening of theatre, and one not to be missed. Thoroughly enjoyable, thoroughly funny, and thoroughly worth seeing. Enjoy every minute as I did. Happy 45th anniversary to the Group Rep.
Cast: Todd Andrew Ball, R.J. DeBard, Nick Paonessa, Savannah Schoenecker, Kristin Towers-Rowles, and Sarah Zuk. Understudies: Truett Jean Butler (Hattie U/S), Justin Radford (Cletis U/S), and Christopher Showerman (Roy U/S).
Producer for the Group Rep: Lloyd Pedersen
Direction: Barbara Brownell
Assistant Director: Todd Andrew Ball
Set Design: Chris Winfield
Costume Design: Angela M. Eads
Light Design: J. Kent Inasy
Sound Design: Steve Shaw
Fight Choreographer: Amanda Newman
Set Dresser: Kyra Schwartz
Stage Manager: John Ledley
Photography/Videography: Doug Engalla
Public Relations: Nora Feldman
Graphic Design: Doug Haverty + Art & Soul Design
The Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre – Main Stage
10900 Burbank Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Buy Tickets and Information:
www.thegrouprep.com or 818-763-5990
Show Times: January 25 - March 3, 2019; Fridays and Saturdays 8:00 pm, Sundays 2:00 pm;
Talk-Backs after matinees – January 27th and February 10th.
General Admission: $25; Students/Seniors with ID: $20; Groups 10+: $15