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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Heritage Players present comedic romp

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A bad hair day The road to Virgil's Wedding proves to be a rocky one that is interspersed with many perilous pitfalls. Bride-to-be Margaret (Marty Meisner) and her mother Mama Hooper (Becky Todd,) for example, are horrified when a permanent goes awry making for one bad hair day. Photo by Ron Flewelling.
GRAND MEADOW - On April 24, the rafters of the Grand Meadow Heritage Center barn will once again rattle with laughter as the Heritage Players take to the stage in their annual spring production.

For this one, the rural thespians will be treading the boards to "Virgil's Wedding," a two-act hillbilly hoot penned by Eddie McPherson.

Virgil's Wedding is another chaotic episode in the life of the Sludge and Hooper families who were first visited in last year's Heritage Center production, "Virgil's Family Reunion."

During that presentation, we were introduced to the whacked out characters that inhabit Lickskillet, a rural community located on the crossroads approximately half-way between over yonder and the boondocks.

During this go around, there's romance as well as mirth and mayhem in the air as lovebirds Virgil Sludge and Margaret Hooper prepare to tie the knot and dive headlong into holy matrimony.

As might be expected when the Sludge and Hooper families are involved, the pending nuptials are put into jeopardy by a series of catastrophes and misadventures.

You know, little glitches like an escaped lizard, the prospective father-in-law setting himself on fire, a hairdo gone awry and a parson who mistakes the wedding for a funeral, just to name a few.

Luckily, true love prevails and by play's end, Virgil and Margaret find themselves properly "hitched."

Virgil's wedding is a veritable parade of odd-ball characters and impossible situations that make it a delight to see.

The lines and sight gags come at you rapid fire throughout the entire play. If you miss one, don't worry...another one will be back around in a minute or two.

Director Penny Klingensmith has assembled a capable cast of 16 for Virgil's Wedding.

Since many of these cast members are reprising their roles from last season's presentation, the entire play has the delightful feel of a family reunion rather than a stage production.

Virgil's Wedding does have a few standouts in the cast, however.

Janelle Townsend, as the buttoned down wedding planner "Ms. Delanie," has her character nailed down dead solid perfect.

Denise Knaack is the real deal as the matriarch "Mama Sludge."

Joel Volkert and Ryan Brown mug it up in fine and proper fashion and rollick through their roles as "Papa Sludge" and "Papa Hooper."

Gayle Jacobs is an absolute scream as "Grandma" and will undoubtedly prove to be an audience favorite.

If you are a fan of hillbilly comedies, (or at least see nothing wrong with the consequences that occur when cousins marry cousins,) you won't want to miss this one.

Virgil's Wedding will be presented on April 24, May 1 and May 2 at the Grand Meadow Heritage Center's Old Barn theater with the curtain going up at 7 p.m.

There will also be two matinees offered on April 26 and May 3 with a curtain time of 2 p.m.

The Grand Meadow Heritage Center is located four miles west of Washta on C-66 and two miles north on L-36 or 15 miles south of Marcus on L-36.

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