July 24, 2010 10:03:00 PM
Jan Swoope - [email protected]
In the upcoming YMCA Drama Team presentation of "Headin'' for a Weddin''" July 30-31, Homer Hollowbone is in love with a big city debutante named Melissa Dugan, whose picture he found in a newspaper wrapped around some fish. Pretending to be everything he''s not, Homer begins a correspondence with Melissa, selling himself as a refined gentleman who lives in a mansion and vacations in Europe.
Woe unto Homer (played by Matthew Chaffin) when the lovely Melissa (Krista Green) arrives to marry her well-educated young man of the letters -- only to discover he''s actually a Virginia hillbilly, living in an old shack with his ne''er-do-well family.
Homer desperately tries to keep Melissa from discovering his true identity. But, all his efforts comically misfire, and Melissa''s revenge is pure down-home fun. Homer also juggles a rocky romantic relationship with "Bertha Blairhouse," Lauren Trimm.
"Matthew and Lauren steal the show with their woulda-coulda-shoulda almost-been courtship and marriage," laughed director Terri Gillis.
Hilarity ensues as the cast of about 20 presents Le Roma Greth''s play Friday and Saturday at Joe Cook Auditorium in Columbus at 7 p.m. each evening. Accomplished musician Richard Miller of Columbus will entertain on guitar before the show Saturday evening, at 6:30 p.m.
"Our hillbilly jamboree dancers will entertain us also before the show and during intermission," said Gillis.
Getting in character
"I''ve never played any role like him before," the 18-year-old Chaffin said of "Homer." This play may well be Chaffin''s last for the Y Drama Team. The 2010 Columbus High School graduate will leave for Harding University in Arkansas soon.
"It''s sad that I''ll be leaving, but I''ll come back to see some of the productions. This play is hilarious; I love it. It''s been fun, working on how strong an accent to use and looking for wardrobe I can use."
Krista Green, a veteran of 11 plays, portrays the "very put together" Melissa.
"This is one of the funniest things I''ve ever been in. ... It''s been a little hard because I have a natural Southern accent, and I''m supposed to be from Rhode Island. I''ve been trying to research people from Rhode Island," she chuckled. Krista, a May graduate of Immanuel Center for Christian Education, will attend Mississippi University for Women in the fall.
"I''m going to the W, so I''m planning on staying with the drama team because it''s like the highlight of my life! It''s great."
The thespians join other colorful characters -- like Paw Hollowbone (Daniel Talley), who teaches tricks to his pet skunk, Gloria -- to bring comical heft to this summer treat.
The cast also includes Lindy Abel, Rob Abel, Anne Burkhart, Blakney Clark, Tiffany Cooper, Mikaela Green, Chelsea Lester, Anna Moss, Ruthie Moss, Amy Partain, Avery Smith, Noah Smith, Gunner Wilson, Shiloh Wilson and Ana Wood.
"I''m so very excited to have such a versatile and talented group of players, square dancers and musicians in this play," said Gillis.
Tickets are $7 in advance at any YMCA branch, or $8 at the door. For more information, contact the Frank P. Phillips YMCA in downtown Columbus at 662-328-7696.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.