Possum Point Players Stage GUESS WHO'S COMING FOR DINNER
Possum Point Players 2020 season set to open with the stage adaptation of the iconic 1967 film, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Show dates are January 31, and February 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 at Possum Hall, 441 Old Laurel Highway in Georgetown.
Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 pm; Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $20, $19 for seniors and students, and may be purchased at www.possumpointplayers.org or by calling the ticketline, 302-856-3460. Some performances are almost sold out, purchase soon to get preferred dates.
Director Les Ferguson said the reason author Todd Kreidler turned the much-loved film into a stage play can almost be summed up in a single line. He said when Pamella Taylor, who portrays the housekeeper Tillie, utters the line, "In some ways it's getting better, but in other ways it feels forever the same." that knowledge and feeling will resonate with audiences today as it did in the film 50 years ago.
Ferguson said, "In 2003 Kriedler wrote this play because he realized that it could resonate with a 21st Century audience. In some ways, things have gotten so much better, but if we are honest with ourselves, and look around, there is still distrust, resentments and anger that bubble to the surface."
Steven Perry and Gina Shuck are in the roles of the liberal and open minded Draytons who are dumbstruck almost to the point of being disbelieving when their adventuresome and headstrong daughter challenges all their high-minded liberalism. She boldly introduces her wonderful fiancé, who is African American.
Shuck said she has enjoyed digging into the role of Christina Drayton as she and Perry, as her husband Matt, struggle to deal with age old racial biases when they learn that Joanna and John have fallen in love. Joanna, played by Abbie Porter and John, played by Bruce Ricketts, are deliciously in love, but they are also making plans that they feel are rooted in reality and they will not be swayed by predictions of doom and despair from their parents.
Arthur Paul, as John Sr., and Dulcena Kemmerlin as Mary, portray John's parents, who are also far from thrilled with the suddenly announced betrothal. Paul said that "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" has long been just about his favorite movie of all time. He said he is so happy to be in the cast, even playing an "angry" black man.
"I mean, I get angry sometimes," he said, "But, I don't spend much time being an Angry Man. But this play is powerful; it's going to move people, but there's comedy and humor, too. I think the audience is going to be into it."
Shuck agreed, saying, "Under Les Ferguson's direction, this play promises to deliver some intensely dramatic moments interspersed with some comic relief. We hope to provide our patrons with an enjoyable and thought-provoking evening at the theatre."
Rounding out the cast, Dick Pack portrays Monsignor Ryan, a longtime friend and golfing buddy of Matt Drayton who might be the only character who is unconditionally happy with the prospect of Joanna and John's nuptials. Jill Lewandowski as Christina's friend and employee, not so much. Voicing her opinion does not prove to be very constructive and could illustrate someone getting her just deserts.
"Guess Who's Coming for Dinner" is suitable for general audiences. There is some adult language. Tickets for some performances are already selling fast, an early purchase is recommended in order to get desired seats and performance dates.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is produced through special arrangements with Playscripts.com.
Possum Point Players is supported, in part, by grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.