WHEELING - Oglebay Institute's Towngate Theatre continues its season with James McClure's "Laundry and Bourbon" and "Lone Star," two separate one-act plays that function as a complete work to present a humorous and poignant story of male/female dynamics in a small Texas town. This slice of life comedy will be staged for two weekends, Friday through Sunday and May 3-4.
The two one-acts are set in Maynard, Texas, in 1972. In "Laundry and Bourbon," the listener gets the women's story, and in "Lone Star" listeners hear the men's tale. The characters in these two stories are all connected in one way or another, one of the hallmarks of small-town life.
"Laundry and Bourbon" opens the evening and concerns the highs and lows of life as a young Texas housewife. The play takes us to the back porch of Elizabeth Caulder who folds clothes while loud neighbor Hattie keeps her company. The two chit chat about their husbands, while folding one piece of laundry for every two tumblers of bourbon and coke, and town gossip Amy Lee drops by for a visit. Here the action centers on the discontent and very funny gossip of three small-town wives whose marriages have turned out to be less than they anticipated.
COMEDY PLANNED – Meghan Ross, left, Bethany Fernbaugh and Karissa Martin play young Texas housewives in Towngate Theatre’s production of the comedy “Laundry and Bourbon.” - Contributed
"Lone Star" takes the audience to a local late-night watering hole and centers on the affairs of Elizabeth's husband Roy and his brother Ray. Roy fancies himself a Paul Newman type whose greatest love seems to be his car, a 1959 pink Thunderbird. Ray, the slow-witted but good-natured little brother, plays along with Roy's drunken antics, but is agonizing over a secret.
Both pieces seem simple on the surface, but they both explore relationships drawn along gender lines. And they both show how split-second decisions can change the course of relationships between brother and brother, husband and wife, and of course, small town friends who know your past and love you anyway.
Towngate's production of "Laundry" and "Bourbon and Lone Star" is directed by Pete Fernbaugh. Cast members are Bethany Fernbaugh, Meghan Ross, Karissa Martin, Dave Zanieski, Evan Oslund and Shawn Carder.
Towngate's curtain is at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. April 28. Curtain is at 8 p.m. May 3 and 4. Call (304) 242-7700 to reserve seats or purchase online at www.oionline.com. For those buying seats at the door, Towngate's box office opens one hour before all shows and can be reached at (304) 233-0820.
This show is an adult comedy and is not appropriate for children.
This program is supported by the members of Oglebay Institute as well as with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the W.Va. Commission on the Arts.