The players present “Murder in the Magnolias” at Pell City Center Nov. 14, 15 and 16 at 7 p.m., and Nov. 17 there’s a matinee at 2 p.m.
The players have been hard at work in rehearsals with director Kathy McCoy, who is also Pell City Center’s artistic director and a part of the cast for the upcoming production.
"When you put a group of Southerners in a play about murder, voodoo and a lost fortune, well what do you think happens,” McCoy said. “It’s total hilarity.”
The Pell City Players are so perfectly suited for this play and each one does seem to be playing out some of their inner character, McCoy said.
“Each line has a funny twist and there’s parody after parody of all the great Southern plays,” she said.
McCoy herself has a fun-filled role in the upcoming production.
She becomes a real “voodoo drummer” for the play, and there may be more of this in her future, she jokes.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed learning my role as a voodoo drummer and may have to plan a one woman concert later in the season," she said.
The setting for the play involves death, as so many great Southern stories do, and Col. Lance Chickenwing has “kicked the bucket,” as they say, leaving as a legacy what happened to his personal pot of buried treasure.
The cast of family members, intricately designed to capture the best of those family quirks so many families have come to know, remain to try to ferret out the colonel’s riches, McCoy said.
So enter Bubba Kamrowski, who, by the way, likes juggling bowling bowls in a nearby luncheonette in town; the lovely Blanche De Blank, who has a finance who drowned in a quarry behind a local casino; a less than stable poet named Thornbird with a multitude of personalities at his command; along with Lawyer Possum, who isn’t known to have a paying client, and you get a part of the picture.
Before long, another death thickens the plot and Sheriff Billy Jerk comes into the play to try and solve that mystery at the place called Belle Acres.
A threatening hurricane, murderous wild honeysuckle vines, a pack of perfectly misbehaving mutts and the voodoo woman add to the string of colorful characters involved in the saga.
You’ll hear a string of entertaining monologues from the characters involved in the story, and the plot just thickens with craziness and off the wall “spoofery.”
Characters in “Murder in the Magnolias” are best described as taking a poke at great parody, using characters from just about every play written with a Southern slant, McCoy said.
The production is a brand new presentation from the Pell City Players, and McCoy said it’s one not likely to leave audiences without a great evening of fun-filled drama.
Tickets for the play are $20, and you may call Pell City Center at 205-338-1974 for tickets or visit the web site for ticket information.
The list of cast members includes Terry Lee as Col. Rance Chickenwing, Danielle Daly as Amanda, Brenda McCay as Jezebel, Al Guido as Pete Boggs, Allen Morgan as Loren Carthues, Chuck Moore as Sheriff Billy Jerk, Julia Funderburg as Princess Lotta Cargo, Steve Shafer as Bubba Kombroski, Kevin Dewberry as Thornburg Chickenwing, Wendy Dewberry as Blanche, Brian Reeves as Lawyer Possum, Janice Stella as voodoo woman, Kathy McCoy as the voodoo drummer and Kathy McCoy as director.
Other performances on the calendar at Pell City Center in the coming months include a free concert from the Magic City Chorale Society, who bring their Christmas concert to the center Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. The chorale includes a blending of more than 90 voices and live piano for their presentation in the one-hour concert.
The sounds and action of the party band Silk e Smooth take over for Pell City Center’s New Year’s Eve Party Dec. 31 starting at 9 p.m.
The event is the place to be to say “goodbye” to 2013 and greet 2014 with great music from through the decades and a party atmosphere you’ll love, McCoy said.
Look for another visit with Pell City Center favorite Three on a String Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.
The trio of Jerry Ryan, Bobby Horton and Brad Ryan will deliver their homespun fun along with their variety of humor and old favorites from the worlds of bluegrass, country and time tested classics.
Ryan will also perform his own “one man show,” showing off his particularly talented feet that take to the drums, while his fingers work on the guitar.
If that’s not enough, there’s Ryan’s harmonica playing thrown in, and the performer hits audiences like a four man band.
In March, the Voices of the South from the Central Alabama Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony perform March 23 at 2 p.m.
The ensemble brings along their long tradition of talent and keeping the vocal American art form alive and well.
This occasion includes an ice cream social for all ticket holders in the lobby prior to the performance.
The Pell City Players return to the stage at Pell City Center April 3 through April 6 with their hit play “Dearly Departed,” another death-based comedy designed to entertain the funny bone.
The setting is the South, and the dilemma faces the dramatic Turpin family demonstrates how death in the South can have its own way of taking its unexpected turn.
The Turpins live deep in the Bible Belt and the occasion of their father’s funeral becomes overtaken with the family’s other ill-fated situations.
There’s financial ruin and meddling neighbors, a wife with fidelity issues all her own, along with some misdirected drinking and some misbehaving youngsters to toss the family into its own world of mismanaged misfits and mania.
Somehow, the family manages to get through the funeral and all that goes with it, and take its audience on a laughter filled journey.
The Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra performs with one concert May 4 at 3 p.m. with its membership ranging in age from 15 to 80.
Based in Birmingham, the orchestra includes a long list of seasoned members and was formed in 1980.
Tickets are $15 for the performance.
Contact Laura Nation-Atchison at email@example.com.