TRU Actors Workshop Theatre brought comedy and nostalgia to the opening night of “Laundry and Bourbon” and “Lone Star.” The night featured the two one-act plays written by James McLure and directed by TRU theatre faculty member Robin Nichol. Both plays take place in Maynard, Texas, in the summer of 1973.
While both Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star has some character overlap, new sides of each are seen and from different perspectives. Elizabeth’s (Brittney Martens) annoyance with her husband Roy (Wyatt Purcha), for example. The audience is shown not only what she perceives as his lack of motivation since his return from the Vietnam War two years earlier, but also Roy’s struggle from his own point of view.
While the topics addressed in the plays seem tough and somber, both performances are hilarious and had the audience laughing at their antics.
The show opened with Laundry and Bourbon, a light comedic introduction to Elizabeth Caulder, Hattie Dealing (Ashley Hiibner) and the pretentious Amy Lee Fullernoy (Shannon Cooper). This act featured Elizabeth and Hattie chatting and sharing a drink on Elizabeth’s back porch when a pain from their past shows up with ulterior motives. Amy Lee is a god-fearing Baptist with a secret love to gossip.
The women go back and forth with catty humor and sarcasm, while reminiscing about the good ol’ days. Laundry and Bourbon is full of subtle jabs at each other and explosions of Hattie’s firecracker-like nature.
Lone Star features the rough and tumble Roy Caulder, Elizabeth’s husband, and his dim-witted little brother Ray (Brendan Law). The comedy can easily be described as “boy humor” with insults and punches hurled from love. A naïve Cletis (Zack Fernstrom), the new owner of his father’s warehouse store and husband of Amy Lee, stirs up trouble with the Caulder boys.
Every character in both plays is so different that there is never a dull moment from. Viewers laugh and feel for all the characters in their day to day struggles.
While it is set in a time where most students haven’t lived, the troubles and shortcomings of the characters are still relatable. You may not have a friend who is a stay at home mom, but chances are you have a fiery Hattie in your life, a pretentious Amy Lee to brag about her riches, or a naïve Cletis who always seems to run into trouble.