Sunday, May 8, 2016

Red Door: "Doublewide, Texas"

The Red Door Theatre in Union Springs' production of Doublewide, Texas is one of several comedies from the cottage industry trio Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten. -- Director Kim Mason has a lot of veterans and one Red Door debut performer at her disposal in this formulaic comedy, who seem to delight in the assorted character antics that they deliver with straight-faced conviction despite the outlandish costumes they often wear and the bizarre behavior they display.

Many of the one-liners are groan worthy jokes that crack up audiences because the actors' timing and self-awareness are genuinely charming.

Just outside Tugaloo, Texas is a tiny trailer park whose residents form an eccentric family of sorts who band together to thwart the attempt of the town to annex them, with predictably rib-tickling results. -- There are bad guys: Lomax [Steve McCary], a local Lothario in collusion with Sloggett [Ellis Ingram], a neighbor to the trailer park who hates their trashy ways, whose ulterior motives get them to try to annex the park and/or force them out.

But they are up against a gaggle of trailer folks who want to preserve their way of life: Big Ethel [Kim Graham], who encourages everyone to stop making bad choices, the family Crumpler -- Caprice [Janet Wilkerson], the matriarch whose auditions for a commercial are wildly funny as she dresses up in outlandish costumes of famous actresses in order to make an impression and get the job; and her children Joveeta [Elizabeth Roughton] who desperately wants a change in her life when she is passed over for a job advancement, and Norwayne "Baby" [Craig Stricklin] a good-old-boy septic tank cleaner, who competes in a no-woman-beauty contest and gets more and more accustomed to high-heels and skirts.

The action of the two acts is largely in the doublewide trailer of often married Georgia Dean [Leigh Moorer] who has taken in a pregnant stranger named Lark [Lauren White] out of the kindness of her heart. And it is here where the combined efforts of this unlikely tribe make plans, shift gears, wait for "signs" to guide them, gradually become a unified group with a cause, and through sheer determination and a bit of luck with the arrival of the Mayor's wife Starla [Denise Padgett], manage to get the better of the men who want to oust them.

We're in the company of a talented ensemble whose good-natured portrayals help lift the slightness of the script to provide a fun-filled entertaining evening at the theatre.