L to R: Eric Haan (Jack/Ralph), Devon Stinson (Ralphie), Tiffany Haan (Rowanne), Sofia Rojas (Sue Ellen,), Constance Suter (Momma)
LEFT - L to R: Eric Haan (Jack/Ralph), Sofia Rojas (Sue Ellen), Tiffany Haan (Rowanne)
RIGHT – Seated: Eric Haan (Jack/Ralph), Standing: Sofia Rojas (Sue Ellen)
L to R: Sofia Rojas (Sue Ellen), Eric Haan (Jack/Ralph), Devon Stinson (Ralphie)
Jul 04-Jul 20, 2008
Fireworks, amnesia and mistaken identity combine to produce a literally explosive 4th of July comedy
No Strings Theatre Company presents "Buy One, Get Five Free." a comedy written and directed by Amy Lanasa. The play opens on July 4, and runs through July 20 at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N Downtown Mall in Las Cruces. The play begins on the third of July in the middle of a West Texas heat-wave, and Rowanne, Sue Ellen, and Momma are doing their best to survive in a dilapidated trailer attached to a fireworks stand. Trouble and hilarity seem to follow the Johnson family wherever they turn. It's 110 degrees outside the trailer, and just as hot inside as Rowanne's agoraphobia, Sue Ellen's shady past, and Momma's penchant for gambling come to heads and combust for a rip roaring good time. When a man from their past returns, he ignites the explosive situation, upsetting the delicate balance the family struggles to maintain.
Performances of "Buy One, Get Five Free" are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. (special early performance on July 4 at 7 p.m.), Sunday matinees on July 13 and 20 at 2:30 p.m. and a Thursday performance on July 17 at 7 p.m.
|House Manager Coordinator|
'Buy One, Get Five Free' is a light look at trailer living
Playwright Lanasa scores with comedy hit
- By Joel Courtney, Las Cruces Bulletin
It seems like every new play in Las Cruces is an extreme, with about 50 percent scoring into the extreme successes that make writing a review a pleasure.
"Buy One, Get Five Free" is definitely one of those successes.
Opening at the Black Box Theatre last weekend, this original script by New Mexico State University screenwriting professor Amy Lanasa takes life in a Texas trailer park and shows the intense drama and comedy one would expect only from a daytime talk show. Without the chants of "Jerry! Jerry!"
the audience is left with the snarky comments and fights between Momma (Constance Suter Hasapopoulos) and her daughters Rowanne (Tiffany Haan) and Sue Ellen (Sofia Rojas). Stirring the pot is family friend Ralphie (Devon Stinson), who pines after Rowanne even though she is married to his father Ralph (Eric Haan) who died in a freak parachuting accident.
Everyone has their own sets of issues adding to the lack of income from the family fireworks stand, like Momma's bingo addiction, Rowanne's crippling agoraphobia and Sue Ellen's tendency to run away at the slightest hint of trouble.
Everything comes to a head when a familiar face reenters their lives, and the fighting begins in earnest with plenty of jokes and insults spread between the blows.
The cast, a mixture of theater regulars and newcomers, is superb for this production. The entire cast really lets it all hang out as they dig into their characters, which just adds to the fun.
Hasapopoulos, Haan and Haan seem to guide Rojas and Stinson near the beginning of the performance, but by the time the family begins to heat up, its like they had toured the performance they meld so well.
Normally, I try to point out a performer that stood out to me through the play, but everyone was so believable and enjoyable, I found myself unable to single anyone out of this marvelous cast.
Though "Buy One, Get Five Free" does have quite a bit of "bad" language, it blends into the story because of how it is used, so only the most sensitive people would be bothered.
Performances of "Buy One, Get Five Free" are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sunday matinees on July 13 and 20 at 2:30 p.m. and a Thursday performance on July 17 at 7 p.m.
No seating plan has been posted.