Amy McCollum

Guest columnist

The Park Meadows Players recently delighted the community with a dinner theater adaptation of Van Vandagriff’s “Ignorance is Bliss.”

I’ve had the good fortune to attend a couple of the church’s previous productions and have always been struck how blessed this congregation is with musical and theatrical talent. This production, though not a musical this time around, was no disappointment. With local celebrity PJ Searsy contributing her comedic genius, the cast kept the audience entertained with the tale of a dysfunctional family whose ideas of normalcy are pretty far off center.

Searcy’s portrayal of Charlene Roberts, the senile aunt who thinks she is a pirate, was very animated and enthusiastic. It takes a thespian with a certain amount of confidence to pull off such a wacky role.

I was equally impressed with Al Mayo’s portrayal of Sid Caesarcoca, whom, along with his wife Imogene (Marla Bearden), is entrusted with Charlene’s supervision and care…when they aren’t off on one of their semi-annual casino heists. Of all the cast members, Mayo’s portrayal seemed the most natural. He was very at ease on the stage. In one breath he was the nurturing male role model raising his deceased sister-in-law’s child and in the next a gun-wielding, maniacal thief.

All the players were well-rehearsed and professional, but Joe Langley’s performance deserves mention. He played two roles – Irish policeman Sergeant O’Weary and FBI investigator Agent Smith. Off and on stage as much as he was, there must have been a good number of hurried wardrobe changes! The characters were so different, to pull them both off without even one slip must have been very challenging.

Having now seen three of the church’s theatrical productions, I feel very secure recommending the next production to anyone wishing to catch dinner and a show without the hassle of traveling to the metroplex