Laughs, lessons combine in ‘Biloxi Blues’

Adam Robison | Daily Journal Rowena (Liz Inman) teaches Eugene (Cody Daniel) a thing or two about life and love in Corinth Theatre-Arts' "Biloxi Blues."

Adam Robison | Daily Journal
Rowena (Liz Inman) teaches Eugene (Cody Daniel) a thing or two about life and love in Corinth Theatre-Arts’ “Biloxi Blues.”

By Sheena Barnett

Daily Journal

CORINTH – A young Brooklyn man learns about life, love and the South in Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues.”

Corinth Theatre-Arts is producing the play, which is a semi-autobiographical take on Simon’s life as a young Army recruit sent to basic training in Biloxi in 1943.

“It’s a sentimental comedy. It makes several points, but it does it while making you laugh,” said director Cynthia Potter.

Cody Daniel is the star, Eugene, who grows up quite a bit during the course of the show.

“He’s basically a thinker, a writer,” Daniel said. “He comes from a very sheltered home and he wants to experience everything, from prostitutes and love and army food and his drill sergeant.”

Liz Inman plays Rowena, a working girl from Gulfport who wants a better life for herself.

“She’s an entrepreneur,” Inman said. “She’s more than your stereotypical prostitute. She’s trying to put food in the mouths of her children.”

Eugene also falls for the sweet Daisy (Leah Petty), a Catholic school girl.

Eugene, who’s Jewish, also faces prejudices in the Deep South.

“It starts out really funny and gradually becomes more sentimental and melancholy,” Potter said.

Though the play is set in the ’40s, the laughs and lessons are still as fresh as ever, Inman said.

“It’s extremely relevant for the here and now,” she said.

Daniel agreed.

“It’s about the human heart,” he said. “You’ll feel better about yourself and humanity after you see it.”