The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

September 12, 2013

Short plays highlight HFT entertainment

HFT brings you A Night of Short Plays later this month.

There is plenty to like about both “Laundry and Bourbon” and “The Diaries of Adam and Eve,” both presented onstage at Historic Fayette Theater, Sept. 20-21 and 27-28 at 8 p.m. each evening.

James McLure’s “Laundry and Bourbon” is a funny and somewhat accurate snapshot of small-town life. The show begins with Elizabeth, played by the talented Deb Cooper, who does an outstanding job of subtly projecting a range of emotions (slightly forlorn, slightly resigned) and inhabits the character believably and completely.

Elizabeth is aching for the days when her husband Roy had a passion for life and she had his undaunted affections. But her problems seem to be pushed into the background by her best friend Hattie’s enthusiasm for game shows, wacky stories about marriage and children and laundry and bourbon. Then, making things even more complicated, is an out-of-the-blue visit from Amy Lee — Hattie’s adversary.

Sandi Shrewsbury, who is pulling double duty as the show’s director and actress, really brings to life the character of Hattie, and she is undeniably funny; she throws herself into the caricature of Hattie’s loud-mouth southern persona. Newcomer to the HFT stage, Jessica Holtzclaw, character Amy Lee, just can’t stop talking — while having the ability to say very little that doesn’t annoy Elizabeth or Hattie.

With a pondering ending, Deb, Sandi and Jessica end the show by allowing the audience to grasp the depth and mechanics of the female friendship as written by James McLure.

The second show of the night, “The Diaries of Adam and Eve,” will be presented as a reader’s theater version of Mark Twain’s comical love story. Twain originally wrote the two diaries as separate pieces, and David Birney triumphantly compiled and adapted them for the stage. The ingenious adaptation of the world’s first love story builds a relationship between the couple, Adam and Eve.

Adam, played by newcomer to the HFT stage, Fred Lamey, is a bit annoyed by this new creature, Eve, and all the attention he is getting from her. Eve is played by Melissa Garrison, who has been seen in “The Red Velvet Cake Wars” and “Kilroy Was Here.” Eve is curious and enchanted by her new life and love.

The story is honest and endearing — Twain’s witty and insightful diary format enables the characters to be touchingly frank and human. By the end of the play, Adam still isn’t sure he understands his wife, but he does know one thing: “It’s better to live outside the garden with her, than inside without her.”

In her directorial debut, Shari Quinn reveals Mark Twain’s sardonic humor and the inner workings of the first couple in their romantic adventure of the ages.

Mature audiences are recommended, as not all scenes and language is suitable for all ages. Both shows will be presented each night, with a brief intermission between shows.

Admission to see both shows is only $10 for adults and $7 for seniors 55 and over. Tickets are available at the theater box office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m., or conveniently online with a credit card at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/369270. You can also call the 24/7 ticket hotline at 800-838-3006 to purchase tickets by phone.

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