“Southern Fried Nuptials,” Chaffins Barn Theatre’s incredibly funny comedy delight, opened on Aug. 8 and will play until Aug. 24 in their lovely red barn.
Zestfully and warmly directed by John Mauldin and beautifully written by Osborne and Eppler, this play is a Chaffin treasure.
The South has always taken great pride in their unusual family members. They are considered a family treasure. Southerners even say that there is one in every family, but, in “Southern Fried Nuptials,” the Frye family got the mother lode of nutty family members and even crazier friends.
This extremely funny show is a perfect play to bring the whole family. You are bound to recognize at least one of your own in this amazing group of warm, funny, absurd and very real family relatives and friends.
Of course, along with this extremely funny theatre experience is a delicious buffet, full of assorted fruits, salads, meats, breads, soups and really incredible deserts (try the crème Brule — so good) to complete a very enjoyable evening.
We have met this Mississippi family before in “Southern Fried Funeral,” reminding us that a close family, even in its most serious moments, would end up making the deceased laugh if he could. Now, two years later after the death of the father, the family comes together for the wedding of the unmarried daughter, Harlene Frye, played perfectly by Jenny Norris. She has finally agreed to a wedding to Atticus VanLeer, played endearingly by J. Robert Lindsey, even as she still wavers whether she should postpone it again.
The widow, Dorothy Frye (played beautifully by Jenny Wallace), is still dealing with the loss of her husband, but a charming new suiter lurks nearby. However, she has her hands full with the wedding. Her two daughters are always fighting (one, Sammy Jo Frye-LeFette, played by Jenna Pryor, is already married but has a secret she hates to tell her family), and Dorothy’s precious childlike son, Dewy Frye Jr., played by Daniel Bissell, feels that the registration of all the wedding gifts is his private domain, and, thus, the front doorbell is his calling, literally.
Even the hated Ozella Meeks is a laugh riot. Seeing her walk into the room wearing a huge beehive hairdo straight from the 60s is a joy in itself. As a wedding planner, her personality leads her to take charge even if she doesn’t know what she is doing.
Ozella in this performance, was played by Debbie Kraski, who due to illness of the performer scheduled had to amazingly step on the stage without any rehearsal, and she was brilliant. Her character fortunately had to carry a clipboard, which now had her lines, but she rarely looked at it, and she fit perfectly into the evening.
Fairy June Cooper, played by Layne Sasser, is a daffy but delightfully adorable aunt that rounds out the Frye family. There are surprises and crazy moments, but the whole cast are wonderful incredibly professional performers and are truly excellent as they bring this very real, funny, family to life. It’s like going home.
Visit www.chaffinsbarntheatre.com or call 615-646-9977 for ticket information. Chaffin’s Barn is located at 8204 Highway 100 in Nashville.