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‘Mama Won’t Fly’ takes off at Playhouse
Jan Grimshaw, from left, John Spencer and Danielle Gustaveson perform during a preview show of “Mama Won’t Fly” on Wednesday at the Cumming Playhouse. - photo by Crystal Ledford

 If you’re going

The Cumming Playhouse presents “Mama Won’t Fly,” a Southern comedy, at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 28. Tickets are $20 for Thursday night performances and $25 for Friday-Sunday performances. Veterans, seniors 60 and older and groups of 25 or more can buy Friday-Sunday tickets for $22.50. For tickets or more information, go to or call (770) 781-9178.

CUMMING — Any adult who’s made a long road trip with family should be able to relate to the current production at the Cumming Playhouse.

Gypsy Theatre Company began a four-weekend run of “Mama Won’t Fly,” a Southern comedy, on Thursday.

The show’s director, who goes by just Mercury, said the play is from the writing team of Jones Hope Wooten.

Gypsy has presented several other Jones Hope Wooten shows at the Cumming Playhouse in recent years, including “Dearly Beloved,” “Dixie Swim Club,” and “Hallelujah Girls,” all of which have been a big hit with local audiences, according to Mercury.

“We have had great success with people in the past saying they love these productions and so here we are doing another one,” he said.

In this show, lead character Savannah has a mother, Norleen, who refuses to fly.

“So they have to make a trip cross country for Savannah’s brother’s wedding, which is going to be in California,” he said. “Since Norleen won’t fly, they have to drive all the way from Alabama.

“Of course, all sorts of hilarity abounds after that.”

Danielle Gustaveson, who plays Savannah, said the storyline speaks for itself when it comes to the show’s comic value.

“Think about it,” she said. “A road trip, stuck in the car for four days with your mother, no air conditioning, across the country.

“It’s just like what the poster says, ‘What could go wrong?’”

Jan Grimshaw, who plays Norleen, wasn’t crazy about the character at first.

“There were parts of her that I didn’t like so much, but now I just love her,” she said. “She just says what she thinks and she really does love her daughter.”

According to Grimshaw, most audience members probably know someone just like Norleen.

“She’s just into everybody’s business … she has no filter and she’s manipulative,” Grimshaw said. “She thinks she’s doing everything out of love, but she also just wants her daughter to behave the way she wants her to.

“She’s meddling, just a busy body, but she really does love her daughter.”

Gloria Szokoly, who plays four different parts in the show, said the comedy is full of surprises that will keep audiences on their toes.

“It’s just hilarious,” she said. “There are funny things, from running around in nun costumes to visiting a bra museum.

“The adventures these women go on and the encounters they have with the characters they meet across the country all leads to a lot of unexpected things.”

The show’s director said while there are “a few tender moments,” “Mama Won’t Fly” really boils down to just one word.

“As one of the characters says, ‘We are going to have F-U-N,’” he said.