By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – Men and women see things differently – but maybe very similarly, too – in TCT Off Broadway’s new production.
J.N. West is directing two one-act comedies by James McLure, “Laundry and Bourbon” and “Lone Star,” known together as “1959 Pink Thunderbird Convertible.”
“They are two one-act plays that go together, or can be performed separately,” West said. “It’s a post-Vietnam, small-town glimpse of life. The women are in ‘Laundry and Bourbon,’ and the men are in ‘Lone Star.’”
The characters all know or are related to each other – Elizabeth is married to Roy, for example – and they share their heartaches, laughs and gossip in both.
“The women’s play is about gossip, friendship, laundry and bourbon,” West said. “The male play is a complete 180. It’s more boisterous, but there’s also some sincerity. They really do mirror each other really well.”
Stephanie Roland plays Elizabeth, who’s longing for what she thought were better days with Roy. She finds comfort in her know-it-all, loud-mouth best friend, Hattie, played by Erin Beall.
“(Elizabeth) is kind of sad, but her best friend Hattie breaks the tension,” Roland said. “The relationship between Elizabeth and Hattie is what we all need, someone who’ll tell you straight.”
Beall is having a blast playing Hattie.
“I love it. There’s no ceiling to being able to be her,” she said. “But she does have some emotions, and I have to be able to pull back to that.”
Everyone will find at least one character they can relate to in the plays, West said.
“It covers everything from politics to religion to friendships,” he said. “What makes this so likable is that we know these people. It’s a surprise: They’re these outlandish comedies, and they’ll touch your heart.”
The laughs in the two plays offer a comedic relief when so much of the city is still cleaning up from last week’s storm, Roland said.
“It’s super funny,” she said. “This is what we need this week.”
DIM THE LIGHTS
• What: TCT Off Broadway presents “Lone Star” and “Laundry and Bourbon”
• When: 7:30 p.m. May 15-17
• Where: TCT Off Broadway, 213 East Franklin St., Tupelo
• Cost: $18/adults, $6/students
• Info: (662) 844-1935
• Extra: This production is not recommended for those 18 and younger.
• Cast list: “Lone Star” cast: Jamie Fair (Roy), Nathan Taylor (Cletus), Jon McCustion (Ray); “Laundry and Bourbon” cast: Stephanie Roland (Elizabeth), Erin Beall (Hattie), Brittany Franks (Amy Lee)