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The Medicine Showdown

a Drama w/ Comedy & Music
by Topher Payne and Adam Koplan

COMPANY : The Flying Carpet Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 14th Street Playhouse [WEBSITE]
ID# 3461

SHOWING : August 21, 2009 - August 31, 2009



This new play, inspired by Henrik Ibsen's classic Enemy of the People, pits a crusading doctor against an entourage of snake oil salesmen.

It’s October, 1918, and Dr. Claudia Hill is wrestling with how best to address an impending influenza epidemic in the small Georgia town of Norwich. Public health seems at odds with the town's economic interests as civic leaders debate shutting down all public gatherings—including the popular and lucrative arrival of Dr. Eggerton’s Traveling Medicine Show. As Dr. Hill’s attempts to impose a quarantine are usurped at every turn by the wily Dr. Eggerton, Dr. Hill realizes that she must stand alone to save the town.

Interwoven throughout the realistic play are scenes from the period medicine show, complete with tap dance, old time melodrama, bluegrass music, and vaudevillian comedy.

In partnership with Healthcare Georgia Foundation and the Georgia Public Health Association, The Flying Carpet Theatre will have a special performance of The Medicine Showdown for students attending Georgia public health programs, including Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Georgia State University’s Institute of Public Health, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. Following this performance, experts in influenza and public health will discuss how the dramatic conflicts portrayed in The Medicine Showdown parallel those faced by public health leaders today.

The play is co-written by Flying Carpet Theatre Artistic Director Adam Koplan and Atlanta playwright Topher Payne, author of two of the three nominees for Best Play of the Year at the 2009 Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards.

Khalid Hill, one of the youngest members of the now-legendary cast of Bring in Da’ Noise, Bring in Da’ Funk, is choreographing his first play and will also perform in the medicine show. Adam Koplan will direct the onstage action in this entertaining and thought-provoking production.

Co-Author Adam Koplan
Co-Author Topher Payne
Director Adam Koplan
Scenic Designer James Aitken
Stage Manager Jennifer Brown
Costume Design Erin Murphy
Dr. Eggerton Jay Allan
Roy Khalid Hill
Legs Bennedict Khalid Hill
Dr. Claudia Hill Jo Howarth
Peter Stockman John Stephens
Chief Tuk Tuk John Stephens
Ben Colquitt John Wright
Tiny John Wright
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Adam and Topher's Miracle Elixir!
by Dedalus
Friday, September 11, 2009
Friends, I say Friends!

Has the health care debate worn your nerves into a quantum frazzle?

Has the pain of matching higher bills to lower income struck a palsy to your nerves and given the vapors to your every breath?

Do you suffer from disanemic apriori shadenfreude?

Then I have the cure for you! But you have to hurry! It’s only available until August 31 at the 14th Street Playhouse and Healing Emporium, and, since today is September the First, I daresay you’d best get your gluteal flatulaters in gear!

I’m talking, of course, of “The Medicine Showdown,” that miracle elixir concocted by Doctors Adam “Keep it Kopacetic” Koplan and Topher “No Pain” Payne, distilled by the virgin waters of the Flying Carpet Theatre Company, and sprinkled generously into the weltschmerz-ridden souls of modern life practitioners.

Watch as we turn the hands of time back to yesteryear, to 1918, to that glorious time of Spanish Flu and wandering mountebanks. Watch as the devoted and well-before-her-time Dr. Claudia Hill (a luminous Jo Howarth) enters into titanic conflict with the Powers-that-be, specifically, her brother, the mayor of Norwich GA! Conflict TITANIC, I tell you! The deadly flu is racing down the coast, its target, Norwich GA! It can’t be stopped! It can’t be cured! It can only be slowed, slowed by the simple expedient of not congregating with your friends and neighbors.

But, what if that congregation is the arrival of Dr, Eggerton’s Travelling Vaudeville and Tonic Exposition? Welllllllllll, it’s only two cases a hundred mile away, and we can’t have our good citizens tromping off to Valdosta and giving THEM all those tourist dollars. Why risk all that cash for only a vague chance of a painful death drowning in our own sputum?

And look! Watch as Dr. Eggerton (Jay Allan) puts on his show, letting us know that a LADY Doctor doesn’t have a butterfly’s chance in Shiloh of winning this kind of struggle, even if she is the only doctor in town. Watch as Tiny Two-Bits (John Wright) warbles his cornpone jokes and zithery melodies! Watch as Legs Benedict (Khalid Hill) tip-taps his way into a dervish derlocution! Watch as Chief Tuk Tuk of the mystical Southeast Asian Indian tribes (an hysterical John Stephens) kayos Death Himself (!) to save a beautiful damsel who caught the lecherous eye of that skeletal reaper.

What chance does sober reason and cogitation have when faced with the mile high dynamo that is a travelling show! It ain’t gonna happen, brothers and sisters, and if you put your plastic on the pallet and buy your way into “The Medicine Showdown,” your spirits will rise, your bowels will regularize, your appetite will filibusterize, your marriage will carnalize, and you’ll have won the brass ring prize!

Don’t fret if the trunks look a bit too modern, if the too-serious scenes stretch a tad longer than their welcome, if the names sound a bit derivative, and if the best acts happen when you’re not looking. Not worry if the tickle in your throat explodes into a fevered frenzy of hacking and hewing, we’re all friends here! If it’s not the Spanish Flu or that confounded H1N1, it’s merely the explosions of laughter and joy that ensue once your funny bone has been tickled and your dazzle-ometer has been fully engaged.

Crowd into that small Stage Three at 14th Street elbow-to-eyebrow with 75 of your closest friends, where you can share the fun, the excitement, the melodies, and the microbes.

And, consarn it, if the whole shebang don’t just up and kill you, it’ll make you that much stronger. Let Big Pharma and Big Gummint keep their MMR and Thimerosal, Adam and Topher’s miracle elixir will keep you healthy, wealthy, and wise!

Though you best hurry before it has a chance to fold its tents and skip outta town on August 31!

-- Brad Rudy (



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