Wacky and weird, “The Sugar Bean Sisters,” The New Depot Players’ latest production opens this week at the Paula Vaughn Black Box Theater on Center Street in Conyers.
It’s a wild comedy written by Nathan Sanders, combining combines swamps, snakes, sisters and spacemen.
The convoluted plot starts with the Nettle sisters, Faye (Judith L. Beasley) and Willie Mae (Cyndi Evans), returning to their home in Sugar Bean, Fla., after a trip to Disney World. One sister, the mannish Faye, is preparing for the return of the “spacemen,” and dreams of being abducted. The other, the girlish Willie Mae, longs to travel to Salt Lake City to find a good Mormon husband.
The arrival of Videllia Sparks (Nancy Powell), a feather-bedecked lounge singer from New Orleans, propels the story forward and it soon becomes apparent that she is after Willie Mae’s “grapefruit fortune.” The Reptile Woman (Angie Short), who serves as something of a Greek chorus, and Bishop Crumley (Scott Mills) round out the cast. Comedy plays against the emotional drama of sisters struggling to escape one another for something better.
While the story might have been absurd, the actors created believable characters, at once funny and sad. The set was exquisite, capturing the atmosphere of a spooky swamp at night, reminiscent of the opening leg of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disneyland and Disney World, complete with phosphorescent stars twinkling against a night sky backdrop and the chirping of crickets in the background.
Directed by Cathe Hall-Payne, “The Sugar Bean Sisters,” runs Thursday through Saturday, April 23 through 25 and April 30 through May 2 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 26 and May 3 at 3 p.m. It is one of five productions being presented during The New Depot Players’ 39th season. Tickets are $20 for adults; $16 for seniors, 65 and older.
Auditions for the Players’ next production, The Greater Tuna, will be held Sunday and Monday, April 26 and 27, at the Paula Vaughn Black Box Theater, 910 Center St., Conyers, at 7 p.m. The play is scheduled to run July 16 through 26.
Upcoming productions scheduled for the 2015 season include “Nuncrackers,” and “The Last Night of Ballyhoo.” Audition and performance information is available on the New Depot Players’ web site, http://thenewdepotplayers.com