Regional Reviews: Albuquerque/Santa Fe
Also see Mark's review of Firerock: Pass the Spark!
The young and pretty Lark Barken (Marianna Gallegos) has stumbled into this town homeless and eight-and-a-half months pregnant. Georgia Dean Rudd (Margie Maes) takes her in because, well, because she's young, pregnant and homeless. Good ol' boy Norwayne "Baby" Crumpler (Joel D. Miller) is learning how to wear women's clothing in an attempt to win a local talent contest. Meanwhile, Big Ethel Satterwhite (Linda Sklov) has issues with a husband who has lost interest in her, and her best friend Joveeta Crumpler (Lacy Bingham) has just accepted a job out of town. Joveeta's mom Caprice Crumpler (Carolyn Wickwire) is preparing to audition for some mattress ads by writing and performing classic star moves, from Dorothy in the The Wizard of Oz to everything Marylyn Monroe. In the middle of it all, Haywood Sloggert (Timothy Kupjack) is in cahoots with Lomax because he's disgusted with the out-of-shape trailer roof sunbathing he can see from his nearby home. He wants them all out.
Sounds like a confusing rush of conflicting individual dramasand it isbut Doublewide, Texas is easier to follow than you can imagine and it's one belly laugh after another. Even the corny jokes work since the premise is so ridiculous.
This is a funny script by the comedy writing team of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten. The Savannah Sipping Society put on at the Adobe last year was also by this trio. Yet the wonder of this production directed by Georgia Athearn is in the casting and costumes (by the always great Carolyn Hogan). I don't remember ever attributing so much of a play's success to costumes.
This is a hilarious crew, and they truly look funny. While it seems at first like country corn, it's not. The situations are funny and the people are funny, and they're pure Texas country, but it's not corny in the conventional way. I was not a fan of the television show "Hee Haw." I never laughed once during the painful few times I watched it to see Roy Clark's banjo brilliance. But this show brought laughs I didn't see coming. All of the comedy is done cleverly without condescending to these rural characters who end up coming off as both sweet and substantial.
Standouts include Carolyn Wickwire as Caprice. Wickwire is always great, but she throws this performance far over the top. Joel D. Miller as Baby Crumpler in high heels is beyond funny. The whole cast is terrific.
Doublewide, Texas, through February 11, 2018, at The Adobe Theater, 9813 Fourth St. NW, Albuquerque NM. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. Additional shows have been added for Thursday, February 1 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, February 10 at 2 pm. General admission is $20. Admission for seniors, students, and ATG members is $17. For reservations, call 505-898-9222. For more information see the Adobe Theater website, adobetheater.org, or call 505-898-9222.