Certain things can be said about the South that are actually true - tailgating actually involves tailgates, one must never discuss politics at the dinner table and, above all, family comes first.
When your rich father has had a stroke and is not expected to make it, well, sometimes it can be every person for themselves!
Such is the case with the Turnover family as the Bowie Community Theatre presents the Del Shore classic ‘Daddy’s Dyin’ ... Who’s Got The Will?’
The show, opening Jan. 11, features a motley cast of characters who bring all kinds of fun to the table.
“The Turnover family has come to gather at the home of Mama Wheelis and Buford Turner because Buford has had a stroke and the doctor’s saying it’s not going to be good,” says director John Nunemaker, who is also the president of Bowie Community Theatre. “Now that sounds tragic, but it’s not really the tragedy part of the show that people should concentrate on.”
According to Nunemaker, the show focuses around the four siblings.
Sara Lee, who is a beautician in the town of Lowake, Texas, is taking care of Mama Wheelis and Buford — the dyin’ daddy, if you will.
Evalita Turnover has been married six times and is coming back to the homestead with a new beau in tow. She’s also going to be a country singer who throws in a bit of pop flavor.
Lurlene, the typical Southern preacher’s wife, tries to make sure everything is right. She is the oldest daughter and tries to be the caretaker.
That leaves Orville.
“Orville’s a very mean man to his wife, but is still loving in his own say,” Nunemaker says. “They [all] bicker like any family would bicker over everything, including what’s in the will.”
Nunemaker says the cast has really rallied around the show and each other, especially after a personal tragedy in Nunemaker’s life.
“Our whole rehearsal period has been messed up a little bit because of a ... tragedy in my own family,” Nunemaker says. “There’s a part of me that wishes that that hadn’t happened, but at the same time, this cast has embraced what we have had to deal with — they have rolled with every punch and every change that we’ve had to make and they have gone with me where we needed to go.”
Nunemaker, who is quick to add he hasn’t seen the 1990 movie of the same name, says after the last show written by Del Shores was performed at Bowie, they had to do another.
“We did ‘Sordid Lives’ here in Bowie two years ago and it was so well received we had to do another Del Shores show and ‘Daddy’s Dyin’’ was the one that we picked,” Nunemaker says.
The Bowie Community Theatre, which operates out of the Bowie Playhouse, is in its 46th season. Nunemaker says the shows have been picked for the upcoming 47th season, but those won’t be announced until opening night.
Even though the shows revolves around death and money, what comes out in the end is family and being together through difficult times.
“I hope the audience walks away from the show realizing that even in the toughest moments in life, there’s support for you and you can turn around and laugh at yourself,” Nunemaker says.
“There are moments in the show that are extremely poignant and heartfelt and there are moments in the show where I will be surprised if audience members don’t walk away with wet pants from laughing so hard.”