The Greeneville Theatre Guild opens their third season this month with the Southern comedy, “Dearly Departed,” written by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones, and directed by Bill Regan, and you don’t want to miss it!
When Bud Turpin drops dead at the breakfast table, it’s up to his family to plan the funeral. That is not an easy feat for this group, though. Bud’s oldest son, Ray-Bud, (played by veteran actor Larry Bunton) carries the weight of the family and the world on his shoulders and the cost of the funeral in his wallet. That’s because Ray-Bud’s younger brother, Junior (played by Jeff Klepper), invested all of his money into a failed business, and his wife Suzanne (played by Marci Nimick, who is making her debut with the GTG) never lets him forget it. Suzanne also has a new bone to pick with Junior after finding a woman’s earring in their car that doesn’t belong to her!
Bud’s widow, Raynelle (played by Susan Craig), and Bud didn’t get along very well when he was alive and she wants “Mean and Surly” engraved on his headstone. Their youngest daughter, Delightful (played by Bree Rozar) has very little to say about her father’s death, or anything really, and seems quite content to do nothing but eat. Never fear, though. Bud’s sister, Marguerite (played by Pam Gosnell) will save the day! If she can get that good-for- nothing, demon-seed son of hers to get her there, that is. Armed with her opinions and her Bible, she plans to preserve what little dignity she can with her brother’s funeral service. If only her son, Royce (played by Cole Wilt), had put enough gas in his car.
Ray-Bud is supported in his efforts by his loving wife, Lucille (played by local favorite, Sandy Nienaber). Lucille tries to keep the peace, keep the faith, and keep her cool, and she does pretty well until that
fateful moment where a well-meaning mourner brings fried chicken to the funeral home. Add in a few other colorful characters like Ray-Bud’s boss, Clyde (played by Michael Fillers); Juanita, the former Yam Queen who married the ‘rich lawyer nephew’ (played by Paige Mengel); Nadine, the family friend who named her children after celebrities – all eight of them (played by Amy Rose, who is making her
theatrical debut); Veda and Norval (played by Donna Masters and Bill Regan), family friends who have struggles of their own; and a well-meaning Reverend Hooker (played by another local favorite, Tom
Sizemore) who unfortunately chose to try out the new Mexican restaurant for dinner the night before the funeral, and you have nothing short of a recipe for disaster.
“‘Dearly Departed’ is drop dead funny.” —NY Daily News
Join the Turpin family for the hilarity at the Capitol Theatre on March 24, 25, 31, and April 1 at 7:00 pm and on March 26 and April 2 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors/students/children and are available online at www.greenevilletheatreguild.org or may be reserved by calling 423-470- 2792. They may also be purrchased at Catalyst Coffee Company in advance or at the door at the time of the show. Don’t miss this one!!