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‘Til Beth Do Us Part’ causes side-splitting laughs

October 16, 2014

 

Margo James and ibby Hayden force a claustrophobic Hank Russell into a closet to hide as the real Celia Carmichael is about to enter the house–Photo by Brian Blakely

Margo James and ibby Hayden force a claustrophobic Hank Russell into a closet to hide as the real Celia Carmichael is about to enter the house –Photo by Brian Blakely

FREDEDREIA WILLIS
Staff Reporter

 

The stellar production of the comedy “Til Beth Do Us Part” left the audience in tears of laughter at the Ruston Community Theatre in Friday’s season opening performance.

 

The play’s three authors — Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten are all successful television writers and ‘Til Beth Do Us Part’ plays like a strange situation comedy.

 

‘Til Beth Do Us Part is a comedy play in two acts unfolding the affect of a Southern Belle from Hell-type hurricane taking over a weatherman’s 27 years of peaceful married life.

 

In the side-splitting comic potboiler about marriage, career-orientated Suzannah Hayden needs a lot more help than she’s getting from her husband, Gibby.

 

Margo James (played by Hilary Hileman) shows Gibby (played by Don Dufor) how she attracts men– Photo by Brian Blakely

Margo James (played by Hilary Hileman) shows Gibby (played by Don Dufor) how she attracts men– Photo by Brian Blakely

Lately, he has been neglecting his marriage, but he quickly started to wish he hadn’t been after his wife hired an assistant and their life begin to change.

 

Playing the role of Beth, Nancy Wallace was my outright favorite with her too big for one’s britches character and her calm (but sweet-as-molasses) Southern twang.

 

Dusty Hampton as the divorced family friend, Hank, also grabbed my attention when he confessed his happiness with being alone, but was desperately worried about his ex, Margo.

 

If you’re a loner and lay in bed at night thinking about your future husband, please avoid this play, it may cause you to think more – not laugh.

 

Sylvia Shultz looked much different than she does as the executive office manager for engineering at Louisiana Tech.

 

Shultz offered a fine British accent and presence as Celia Carmichael, Suzannah’s boss.

 

Don Dufour played Gibby and over time went from a sloppy to loving husband.

 

Hilary Hileman got the typical role as the good friend, Margo James, who cracked cleverness and craved the loved and attention of every man.

 

Heather Peterson carried the most challenging part as the overwhelmed Suzannah, whose stress drives the show and even made me question how I could be so naive about people in my life.

 

Gibby shields himeself from his wife Suzanne’s (played by Heather Peterson) anger– Photo by Brian Blakely

Gibby shields himeself from his wife Suzanne’s (played by Heather Peterson) anger– Photo by Brian Blakely

Peterson’s script seemed to give her one note to sound: that of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown and she played the part to perfection.

 

“Lower your voice.” Suzannah screams at one point to her husband, and I wanted to yell across the theatre, “You should too.” But for women I understand that sound comes naturally.

 

Director Satish Bharadvaj was more pleased with the turnout of the play than anyone else; I could tell by the thrilled grin that was painted on his face.

 

Bharadvaj said they chose this play to be the season opener because it has the fun the audience wants out of a play, especially a season opener.

 

The audience showed no disappointment as they continued laughing and quoting lines while leaving the theatre and I followed and joined in the merriment as well.

 

It didn’t matter if you are married, single, rethinking your divorce or currently being controlled by someone up to no good, you would have enjoyed this family-friendly – beside the quoting of “BS” and “damn”-, laugh-out-loud comedy.

 

Email comments to flw005@latech.edu.

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