MOUNT CARMEL — There are fishy situations afoot at Reel ‘Em Inn, and they have nothing to do with the trout in the lake.
“Farce of Nature” opens tonight at the Brubeck Theatre, and audiences should brace themselves for side-splitting, knee-slapping laughter.
The proprietor of the inn in the Ozarks, D. Gene Wilburn, portrayed by Jim Parker, is about as clueless as it comes to romance, but that doesn’t stop his frustrated wife Wanelle, played by Patti Hanzel, from trying to reignite that spark in a variety of ingenious — and rather unorthodox — ways.
Wanelle is convinced that D. Gene is running around on her with a woman named Roxanne Thorne, played by Janet Anderson.
D. Gene’s sister, Maxie, also does not have her ducks in a row to say the least.
Elizabeth Anne Pearson acts as the scrappy, trigger-happy Maxie, who is trying her best to get back on the police force by taking care of Carmine DeLuca, played by Tyler Wood, a snitch who has been hiding from Chicago gangster, Sonny Barbosa, for the last five years.
Maxie loses her bullets, gun and almost all of her marbles as the day progresses.
Wood gives an animated performance as DeLuca, ranging from a fear of the Arkansas nature to getting wrapped up in the drama between sweethearts Jenna Sealy and Ty Wilburn.
Jenna, played by Abi Anderson, has been bored to pieces at the inn, staying with Ty’s parents, D. Gene and Wanelle, while he went to Chicago to become an actor.
Tristan Wood acts as the exasperated Ty, who has returned home to his discontented girlfriend. She lies and tells him DeLuca is her new hunk of a man.
But Ty has bigger fish to fry, as Lola Barbosa, the owner of a dinner theatre in Chicago, follows him back to Arkansas.
Carolyn Highhouse portrays the successful business woman Lola, who seems to have an appetite for younger, fresher meat.
That all changes when her husband Sonny, played by Chuck Johnson, tracks her down.
Hilarity ensues, and the cast lies, hides and cross-dresses to fool the notorious gangster Sonny. The truth comes out soon after, when the rag-tag group has to band together to save themselves from some wild beasts.
“Farce of Nature” starts at 7:30 p.m., and it will also be performed on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at the box office prior to the show or by calling 618-263-5124.