By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Adultery. Creepy bosses. Financial ruin. Sibling rivalry. A healthy dose of fire and brimstone, and a former Yam Queen.
“Dearly Departed,” the romp opening tonight for a three-week run at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse, has all this and then some.
John Manno, the director, calls this a drop-dead funny saga about the Turpins, a bunch who must pull themselves together just long enough for the funeral of their father, Bud.
“We are a trailer-trash family,” quipped Jayna Orchard, who plays the widow Raynell Turpin.
“Dearly,” by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones, is the first show of the new Port Angeles Community Players season, with curtain times at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Tuesdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 6.
This is a play for adults and teens — not for young children, Manno said.
Among his favorite moments: when formidable church lady Marguerite (Barbara Frederick), wakes her son Royce (Daylin Scott) at 7 a.m. by phoning him and singing at the top of her lungs.
Convinced that he is knee-deep in sin, she ups her volume, to wake up the “harlot” she thinks is in his bed.
“There is none,” Manno said.
Yet “Dearly” isn’t merely a farce.
“There’s resolution of the dysfunction,” said Orchard. “And it has some tender moments.”
The “Dearly” cast also features Port Angeles Community Players veterans Jim Guthrie, Lola Hassan-Adams, Pat Owens, Bob Bronsink, Cherie Trebon and Stephanie Gooch.
Also performing are Dalton Williamson, Sean Burton, Corie Labrie, Lily Paulsen, and Brenda Dunlap, as well as the Joy of Life Singers.
“I love working with John [Manno],” said Orchard, adding that she came to the “Dearly” auditions not because she was especially after the role of Raynell, but because she has admired Manno’s work on other productions.
Also an actor and musician, Manno has directed Ibsen’s “The Master Builder,” Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” and other deep stuff.
“Unlike the other, ‘heavy’ plays I tend to direct, [‘Dearly’] is wicked fun,” Manno said. And it’s about something lovely: forgiveness.
“No matter what our flaws and foibles are,” Manno said, “we all deserve forgiveness and love.”
“Dearly” tickets are $12 for adults or $6 for students at Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows. On Tuesdays, reserved seats sell for the regular prices while general admission is $6 at the door if seats are available.
Ticket outlets include Odyssey Books, 114 W. Front St. and www.PACommunityPlayers.com.
The playhouse is located at 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd., so to reach it from the west amid the Lauridsen bridge construction, take Eighth Street to Race Street, turn south on Race and then east on Lauridsen Boulevard. For more information, phone 360-457-0500.