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For the week of February 14 through 20, 2001

A very fuddy play


By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer

The New Theatre Company is unleashing on an unsuspecting public the lunatic comedy Fuddy Meers, by David Lindsay-Abaire. It will run Feb. 15 - 18, and Feb. 20-24, at 8 p.m. at the nexStage Theatre, in Ketchum.

John Hayden, Anna Senechal and Larry Kelly in a tense moment from the play, Fuddy Meers. Express Photo by David N. Seelig

A finely attuned sense of the absurd may be required of theatergoers.

Pat Lee Willson, a director from Los Angeles, who also helmed Wit, is directing.

As the play opens we find Claire (Patricia Conwell) waking up to another day in which she is unable to remember anything of the day before, or the day before that, or the day before that since she is suffering from a bizarre form of amnesia.

Claireís helpful, though cagey husband (Larry Kelly) has meticulously created a manual for her to follow during her day. But did he give her the right information? Itís a compelling question to ask oneís self if one was somehow in the same position.

Claire is confronted during the course of the show with such eccentric characters as Limping Man (Scott Creighton), her mother, Gertie (Claudia McCain), a speech challenged stroke victim, Claireís teenage son (John Hayden) an irreverent pothead, a kidnapped policewoman (Anna Senechal), and an ex-con, (Paul Willson) who talks through a sock puppet with a tendency to harangue.

Numerous plot twists, with extraordinary disclosures and endless streams of Gertie's incomprehensible word-stew gleefully march along until the play winds itself to its comic conclusion.

Fuddy Meers, which won a few Drama Desk Awards off-Broadway last year, is an original who-dunnit with a twisted sense of the world.

Appearing in Fuddy Meers, under his wifeís direction, is L.A. character actor Paul Willson. His latest play was Phil Olsonís A Nice Family Gathering at the Groundlings Theater in Hollywood last summer. He is also a long-time member of the Los Angeles improvisational group Off the Wall, which appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, 2000.

New Theatre Company has dedicated the entire season to the memory of its late patron and friend Harry Jones, said New Theatre Company artistic director David Blampied.

In Jonesí honor 10 percent of each runís seats will be given away free to organizations that help our community, such as Wood River Hospice, Blaine County Senior Citizens Center, the Advocates, Project Respect and high school acting students. Call 762-2271 ask for information about this program.

Tickets are available at Chapter One Bookstore and Atkinsonsí Market in Ketchum, and Read All About It in Hailey.

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