Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Stage

'Guacamole Queens' shows a side of high school that never was

CLEARWATER

No matter how you feel about high school reunions, you're going to want to attend this one.

The new comedy, Last Round-up of the Guacamole Queens, tells the story of three cousins from Sweetgum, Texas, — Gaynelle, Peaches and Jimmie Wyvette — and their plans to put on the ultimate high school reunion before the old school gets torn down.

But Peaches, the top mortuary cosmetologist in the area, is desperate for a date; Gaynelle aims to become the last Guacamole Queen of Sweetgum High and Jimmie Wyvette, who owns a bridal shop for big ladies — the Wide Bride — is under arrest.

Throw in a lecherous nonagenarian who goes all the way on first dates (because he may not live long enough for second ones), a sanctimonious aunt, a crazy former classmate and his creepy friend, an oddball televangelist, two old biddies, and you have the recipe for a tasty Southern-fried farce.

The play runs through June 19 at the West Coast Players Theatre; tickets are $19 with discounts available for students and groups.

The production is the Florida premier of Last Round-up, said director Ashlie Johnson, who does double duty as the theater director at Palm Harbor University High School.

"This is the third and final chapter of the Verdeen Cousins Texas Trilogy," she said. "They are the small-town Texas family that puts the 'fun' in dysfunctional."

The theater troupe previously produced parts one and two of the trilogy, The Red Velvet Cake War and Rex's Exes that were "absolute sellouts," she said.

The casting for the three cousins has been consistent throughout with Cherie Albury as Peaches, Janice Creneti as Gaynelle, and Colleen Coughenour playing Jimmie Wyvette.

Some of the other players in the ensemble reprise their former roles while some can be seen in new ones.

"Please let people know they don't have to have seen the first two shows to understand what is going on in the third. It will be quite apparent," said Johnson.

By the way, red velvet cupcakes sold during the performances of the previous shows proved just as popular as the plays themselves, so they plan to offer them again.

The trilogy playwrights are Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, collectively known as Jones Hope Wooten. Their shared writing experience includes hit movies, Off Broadway comedy and classic television sitcoms including The Golden Girls.

Reach Terri Bryce Reeves at [email protected]

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