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In February, Oroville’s Birdcage Theatre presents The Fun in Funeral, a whacky comedy about love, sex, insects and funerals. Written by former Oroville resident Steve Lyons, this will be the play’s second production.
The Fun in Funeral was produced in 2002 in San Francisco (under its former name, Cockroach Infestation).
“Following the 2002 production in San Francisco, I put this play in a drawer because I was not satisfied with the ending,” states the playwright, who attended Nelson Avenue School and one year at Oroville High School before moving out of the area at the age of 14. “I could not figure out how to fix it,” Lyons continues. “Now, ten years later, I read it again and immediately saw how to fix it. The advantage of distance. I am now happy with it and excited that it will see new life in Oroville.
Set during the heady days of the .com explosion, this madcap comedy follows the schemes and love lives of a group of crazy young urbanites. When Simone brings home a new boyfriend she found at a poetry festival, and her roommate Jenny has her fiancé move in while his home is fumigated, the stage is set for fun, farce and a mad plan to market performance art funerals. Morris, the flaming mortician’s beautician, arrives to lend his considerable skills to this wild idea to make big money.
In 2010, Birdcage Theatre produced Lyons’ Peaches en Regalia, a one-act comedy. “I am delighted that Barbara Daggett is once again my director and that Samantha Sanz and Christine Williams, the two amazingly talented actresses who starred in Peaches en Regalia, agreed to take the lead roles in The Fun in Funeral.”
Samantha’s romantic lead in the production is local actor Joshua Durham. Since in real life they are newly-weds, the sparks should fly!
While his plays have been performed in London, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere, Lyons reserves special praise for the Birdcage Theatre. “Although the Birdcage is a community theatre, you would never know it from the plays they tackle. They are willing to take risks that most community theatres shy away from.”
Director Barbara Daggett is able to bring first-hand knowledge to this play about funerals. “Years ago I was around funerals every day because I was married to the owner of Sacramento Memorial Lawn, Morris S Daggett,” states Daggett. “It slays me that one of the characters in the play is named Morris!”
The Fun in Funeral is rated PG-13 and runs from February 14 to February 23. Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday matinee at 2pm. Tickets are $15. Special half-price show on Thursday Feb 20 at 7:30pm.
The Fun in Funeral
By: Steve Lyons
Director: Barbara Daggett
Assistant director: Roxie Eggen
Featuring: Christine Williams, Samantha Sanz-Durham, Joshua Durham, Frank Eggen, and Sean Plummer