Episode of 'Blue Plate Special' is Non-Stop Holiday Farce
By: Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
Threshold Repertory Theatre serve up a tasty dish of playwright Tom Edward's 'Blue Plate Special' at their little black box theatre at 84 Society Street. A half dozen over zealous actors breathe life into this an episode of Edward's country musical comedy soap opera, following in a series unfolding at 'Della's Diner'.
Among the Christmas Eve 'Blue Plate' menu options are divorce, adoption, lust, debauchery, gas station attendant medical procedures, and divine healing all wrapped up in country music classics. The juke box and the diner are wonderful backdrops in this cornball comedy set in the fictional hills of Blue Morning Mountain Tennessee.
The cast of zanies include Della (Yvonne Herold), a former windy city stripper slash CB radio (whip lady) enthusiast turned diner owner, and her 18 year old daughter Ramona (Caroline May), ready to split from her hubby of three years and seek fame in Nashville. Add in Ricky (Phillip Cingolani), a former doctor with a medical condition now pumping gas.
Throw in a heaping helping of Larry (Paul O'Brien) as the local, not so pious preacher chronicled in the National Enquirer, and the over amorous Connie Sue Day (Shelly Goughnour) the 11th Lady of Country Music, who also happens to have more costumes changes than Reba Mc Entire during a TV special and you have a recipe to backwoods jocularity. Rounding out the sextet is Ronnie (Anthony Matrejek) as Ramona's soon to be ex, the probable father of their child, and maybe the next country music boy toy.
Each and every actor totally immerse themselves in their respective roles. The chemistry on stage between mother and daughter, medical staff and patient, country singer and adoring fans is delightful. Threshold Rep serve up two hours of non-stop entertainment. The 'Blue Plate Special' is overflowing with familiar country music tunes, a few gospel favorites, and a whole lot of soap opera shenanigans. The stage play is meant to be quirky and outrageous, and Threshold deliver nicely.
Will Della survive brain surgery and a bout of blindness? Will Ramona become the 12th lady of country music? Will Ricky open a medical practice inside the filling station. All these absurd questions and more unfold if you order up the 'Blue Plate Special' at 'Della's Diner, where the catchphrase is 'Where's the baby?', and the catchword is 'Chicago'. It's a hillbilly holiday on Blue Morning Mountain and Threshold Repertory Theatre are your hosts at 84 Society Street.