Archikulture Digest

Sordid Lives

Sordid Lives

By Del Shores

Directed by Fran & Frank Hilgenberg

Theatre Downtown, Orlando FL</strong>

We all have sordid lives, but in a small town your life becomes community theatre. Today’s topic is Peggy Williamson’s death; she tripped over the wooden legs of her lover G. W. Nethercott (James Zelly) in a sleazy hotel room, hit her head, and went to her Methodist heaven. The funeral is contentious, Latrelle (Katrina Tharin) thinks a mink stole on the corpse is inappropriate in the 108 degree heat, but La Vonda (Marion Marsh) knows dead people don’t sweat, and anyway Peggy loved that stole. Looming large is the potential attendance of Brother Boy (Doug Boardman-Shorts), Peggy put in the state loony bin 23 years ago for cross dressing with extreme prejudice. Grandson Ty (Adam DelMedico) debates as well, he’s fled to gay friendly NYC and gotten a job in the Soaps. As the donated funerary meals pile up on Sissy Hickey’s (Pam Baumann) kitchen table, spurned Noleta Nethercott (Peri Hope) and La Vonda pop some valium and go into town to settle some business. They shoot up a bar and rob a liquor store and convince Wardell (Dean Walkuski) to pay for beating Brother Boy so many years ago. It’s one of the more interesting funerals your likely to attend this year.

Complex as the story sounds, the humor lies in stereotypes of small town red necks, not that there isn’t some truth in these rolls. Bitsy Mae Harling (Victoria Burns) has a bad reputation but a great C&W voice and the tattoos to prove it. DelMedico’s therapy loving gay boy distanced himself from his loony family but hadn’t completely accepted himself, and is the most sympathetic. While internally conflicted, he’s escaped and when he returns it’s on his terms. Marsh’s La Vonda was the most convincing of the family; she burned with small town vengeance for 23 years before executing it. More comedy came from Zelly and his wooden legs and Juanita Bartlett’s (Caroline Ross) cleavage, but the Sex-on-stage award goes to drugged out Dr Bollinger (Jamie Lyn Hawkins) and her attempted seduction of dragged out Brother Boy.

It’s a silly, gag oriented show, and while there are brilliant moments, some scenes seem to drag on and when the show stops, it really just stops. All these miserable people who have tolerated each other seem to come together, but I suspect even the blackmail photos of G. W. dancing with the Odell brothers in their underwear will lead to another 23 years of bad feelings. That’s why the Big City offers such solace – no one cares what you did back home.

For more information on Theatre Downtown, please visit http://www.theatredowntown.net


Recently on Ink 19...

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson

Event Reviews

Joe Jackson brought his Two Rounds of Racket tour to the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C. on Monday. Bob Pomeroy was in the area and caught the show.

Matías Meyer

Matías Meyer

Interviews

With only a week to go before powerful new feature Louis Riel or Heaven Touches The Earth premieres in the Main Slate at UNAM International Film Festival, Lily and Generoso sat down for an in-depth conversation with the film’s director, Matías Meyer.

Mostly True

Mostly True

Print Reviews

Carl F. Gauze reviews the fascinating Mostly True: The West’s Most Popular Hobo Graffiti Magazine, a chronicle of forgotten outsider subculture.

The Tin Star

The Tin Star

Screen Reviews

Anthony Mann’s gorgeous monochrome western, The Tin Star, may have been shot in black and white, but its themes are never that easily defined.

Flipside

Flipside

Screen Reviews

Charles DJ Deppner finds Flipside to be a vital treatise on mortality, creativity, and purpose, disguised as a quirky documentary about a struggling record store.

Stereophonic

Stereophonic

Music News

Tony-nominated smash success Stereophonic delivers a brand-new Broadway cast recording — straight from 1976.

Cocoa the Tour Dog

Cocoa the Tour Dog

Print Reviews

Cocoa the Tour Dog is the heartwarming true story of a boy and his dog and his reggae band. Bob Pomeroy reviews the book by Adam Mansbach and reggae artist Stick Figure, with illustrations by Juan Manuel Orozco.

TRF Boog

TRF Boog

Features

First Single “Dump It” from TRF Boog’s forthcoming ME vs ME LP premieres today, at Ink 19.