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‘Beau Jest’ opens tonight at community playhouse

February 9, 2012

By ANGIE CARNATHAN
sdnlife@bellsouth.net

Starkville Community Theatre’s presentation of the comedy “Beau Jest” begins tonight at the Playhouse on Main. The play, written by James Sherman, is directed by Christopher Walrath and runs Feb. 9-12 and Feb. 14-18. Nightly performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday, Feb. 12, performance begins at 2 p.m.
“Beau Jest” features Robbie Henry, Matt Crane, Rick Jordan, Damen Peterson, Kat Hester and Warren Nybo.
Crane said he believes audiences will love this “great romantic comedy.”
“... We are so fortunate to have people coming out to support live theatre,” Crane said. “It’s easy to go out to the movies, but there’s something so special and unique about seeing a show live. Every show is a labor of love, and I cannot thank our director enough for the time and effort he has put in to crafting our story and our set to give something wonderful and entertaining to this community.”
Walrath said directing this show has been a wonderful experience and he has enjoyed working with this particular cast.
“After selecting the show, having the opportunity to bring this family to life and make them real has been a blessing,” Walrath said. “I got the call and I answered it because I was drawn to how real this family is portrayed. The audience gets to dive into a fun filled show.”
Hester, who plays Miriam, the mother, said the role has been insightful.
“She is very traditional, conservative and focused,” Hester said. “She’s so many things I’m not. I’ve loved learning about Miriam’s faith and admire her strength and heart. For me, her journey toward real communication with her daughter is priceless.”
Robbie Henry plays her daughter, Sarah. Henry said having a crazy family is definitely something to which many can relate, and she really enjoys putting something on stage for other people to watch and say “Yes, I’ve been there.” 
“Sarah is such an exciting role because she’s constantly making mistakes and trying to fix them, and she learns so much from start to finish,” Henry said. “It’s wonderful to play a character who is realizing so much about herself and growing as a result of it; I think that’s a transformation we all love to make.”
Jordan plays Sarah’s boyfriend, Chris. According to Jordan, Sarah and Chris really get put into some tough spots.
“Chris is a guy with a lot on his mind,” Jordan said. “His girlfriend is hiring an actor to portray her boyfriend for her parents just to make them happy, and Chris is just left on the outside. I feel for him, I really do — I don’t think many could deal with their girlfriend doing all this craziness.” 
Crane plays Bob, the boy Sarah has hired to be her boyfriend in front of her strict parents.
“I have loved playing Bob,” Crane said. “He’s an escort with a heart of gold. The universal thing about the show is that we have all been in those awkward situations or relationships, and it’s really fun to see how these characters weave their way through it all.”
The character of Joel is played by Peterson, who said the show is not only funny, but also warm.
“We bicker, we yell a bit, but it’s all in true concern for each others’ well-being,” Peterson. “It is quite literally like being at someone’s house for dinner.  Okay, it is if you had to sit in the next room and watch them, but that’s pretty close, right?”
For his part, Nybo said playing the father, Abe, was great fun.
“Oh my goodness, the things a father goes through to protect his daughter,” Nybo said. “But it was worth it to Abe to see her happy at last.”
An SCT box office representative said tickets are selling fast, but there are some left. To make a reservation, call the SCT Box Office at 662-323-6855.

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