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Last Round-Up of the Guacamole Queens

a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Jessica Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten

COMPANY : Actors Theatre of Atlanta [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
ID# 5035

SHOWING : February 09, 2017 - February 19, 2017

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Gaynelle, Peaches, and Jimmie Wyvette are hustling to organize a high school reunion before their old building is demolished. Meanwhile, Gaynelle is navigating from the mortifying end of her ex-husband, Peaches’ love life is down the drain (hard to find a partner when you’re a mortuarial cosmetologist), and Jimmie is trying to fix her reputation after an on-camera catfight with a televangelist. Hijinks ensue in this southern-fried comedy - don’t miss this classic comic farce!


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Pete Borden
Jimmie Wyvette Verdeen Abby Avery
Sheriff Grover T. Lout Frank Harris
LaMerle Verdeen Minshew Marge Krengel
Aubrey Verdeen Bill Mann
Ennis Crowder Mary Nimsgern
Gaynelle Verdeen Lynda Palmer
Dewey Davenport Kevin Tillery
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Another Jones-Hope-Wooten Piece of Froth
by playgoer
Monday, February 27, 2017
2.5
"Last Round-Up of the Guacamole Queens" takes place as the local high school is about to be demolished. In light of this, the Verdeen cousins are helping to plan a big blow-out reunion for all classes, capped by crowning of an ultimate Guacamole Queen from among all the past winners of the title at the football Guacamole Bowls. Problems ensue, with a comic happy ending ensured.

This is not a particularly memorable entry into the Jones-Hope-Wooten canon, and Actors Theatre of Georgia has matched that with an unremarkable production. The set (design uncredited) works well, with three chairs suggesting a local TV talk show at stage right to start, a café at stage left, and a removable laundry table center left. After the first few scenes, action takes place mainly in the "Wide Bride" store, decorated with a lovely wedding dress (although it does not seem to be in an obviously plus size, as the store’s name would imply). Stephen Reilly’s light design delineates the multiple scenes, although it does so with a fair amount of bleed-over and with shadows on the faces of anyone sitting in the center of the sofa stage right in the bridal shop.

Mr. Reilly’s sound design provides the necessary effects and plays appropriately Texan music during scene changes. Costumes (uncredited) are quite good. On the technical side, the production is a step or two above the acceptable.

As competent as the technical elements is Pete Borden’s direction. Scene endings are nicely calibrated, the stage is used well, and the actors’ blocking lets everyone be seen and heard. The main performers are full of energy, so Mr. Borden has definitely inspired the cast to give their all. The pace is occasionally slow, but since the slowness is associated with certain actors, this is almost assuredly a deficiency in acting, not in direction.

And the deficiencies in acting are insurmountable. No one really surpasses the level of second-rate community theatre, and not all moments play out as the director must have desired. The skills of the minor actors often aren’t up to the challenges presented. The show starts with Marsha Fennell as TV host Cee Cee Windham, and her enthusiasm and energy had me thinking she might be the one truly bright spot in the production, but in act two she sputtered to a stop in the middle of a monologue and walked offstage, with the stage dead for interminable seconds until someone made a perfunctory entrance, then exited to leave the stage empty for additional interminable seconds until lights finally went out on the scene.

The single-sheet program provided for the production shows the fuzziness of images stretched beyond their original size and is littered with spelling and formatting errors. When you can’t get the month or director’s name spelled correctly, there’s a definite lack of attention to detail somewhere along the line. And when the overall production is as lackluster as this one is, it’s not only the proofreading that has been sub-par. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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