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'Dearly Beloved' runs this month
Small-town hilarity arrives
Danielle Gustaveson, who plays Nelda Lightfoot in “Dearly Beloved,” puts on makeup before dress rehearsal Feb. 2 at the Cumming Playhouse. - photo by Autumn McBride

Could anything inspire more chaos and hilarity than a small-town, Southern wedding?

That’s the question addressed in the Cumming Playhouse’s latest show, which runs through Feb. 27.

A production of Gypsy Theatre Company, “Dearly Beloved” is the comedic tale of the Fayro, Texas, Futrelle sisters — Frankie, Honey Raye and Twink — as they try to pull off the antebellum-inspired wedding of Frankie’s daughter.

But will they be able to overcome all the small-town gossip and their own problems, ranging from frequent conversations with their dead mother to attempts to get a boyfriend of more than 15 years to pop the question?

“This is a free-for-all comedy,” said the show’s director, who goes only by Mercury. “It’s things that could happen to any of us on any momentous occasion.”

He summed up the show as “a collision of misfortune that creates lots of hilarity.”

Debbi Hamm, who plays Honey Raye and works as a school teacher in Lumpkin County by day, said the show is “classic Texas.”

“It captures that small-town atmosphere perfectly,” she said.

She added that her role as the scandalous youngest Futrelle sister has “been liberating.”

“It’s very different from what a school teacher does every day,” she said.

Carlene Archer, who portrays the middle sister, Twink, said she’s enjoying “getting to be somebody else.”

“It’s just so silly and so fun,” she said. “It’s the most fun I’ve had doing any show.”

Linda Heard, director of the Cumming Playhouse, said she expects the play’s “Southern flavor” to appeal to local audiences.

“As always, people in north Georgia love plays that are Southern and light-hearted,” she said. “This one ... has much of the Southern flavor, mind-set and manners of speech that we have here in Georgia.” 

Archer agreed.

“Having grown up in Georgia, I can tell you some family reunion stories that are just like this show,” she said.