Being a “prison trash bar singer” hasn’t been easy for Betsy Kennedy.
She’s had to ask Facebook friends where to find fake tattoos and “good Texas white trash apparel.”
Muskogee Little Theatre’s current production of the Del Shores comedy “Sordid Lives” puts a lot of familiar MLT faces in a far different setting.
However, director Martha Cherbini said the 13 cast members are up to the task.
“A lot of veteran actors are looking for good meaty parts,” she said. “And this play is full of them.”
Set in the southwest Texas town of Winters, the play describes itself as a “black comedy about white trash.”
Cherbini said the play features adult language, adult content and guns.
She said she was shocked by the script’s frank language. “But sometimes something has to hit you with a two-by-four to make you listen,” she said.
Phil Sapienza, one of the case, said the play has “something for everyone as long as you have an open mind and you’re over 17.”
Sapienza plays G.W. Nethercott, a Vietnam veteran double amputee who has an affair with the matriarch of a family. However, she trips on his wooden legs, hits her head on the sink and bleeds to death.
The death shakes the community, Cherbini said. “It brings back together her two daughters, Lavonda and Latrelle.”
One daughter has a gay son who has been away from town for a while, Cherbini said. The matriarch’s brother, who also was gay, was shipped to an asylum many years earlier, she said.
“Any time you have a play with a family reunion, you have situations and unfinished business,” Cherbini said. “It’s going to make people laugh — and cry, too. It’s very touching in places because it’s about family, tolerance and acceptance.”
The play is a family affair for the Sapienzas. Phil Sapienza said this was the first time he would get to perform with his wife, Linda Sapienza, who plays the gun-toting daughter Lavonda. Sapienza’s son Cory plays Buster Bob, a member of the band that backs up singer Bitsy Mae Harling.
Cory Sapienza is the only newcomer in the cast.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said, while strumming his guitar. “It’s not too demanding as far as acting. I’m a supporting character for Bitsy.”
Bitsy is played by Kennedy, who describes her character as a bar singer “with a heart of gold that nobody appreciates except the deceased matriarch.”
Like nearly every other female in the cast, Kennedy gets to tease and hairspray her hair to voluminous proportions. That’s a role she relishes. The program’s cast notes say that ever since she was the music director for MLT’s “Always Patsy Cline,” she has “harbored a secret desire to sport big hair and sing loud country-western music.”
And yes, Facebook friends, Kennedy said she found a temporary tattoo.
She bared her arm to show the intricate ink work and said, “Another cast member does this.”
Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or email@example.com.
Credits for "Sordid Lives"
Bitsy Mae Harling — Betsy Kennedy.
Ty Williamson — Michael Rappe.
Sissy Hickey — Bobbie Huddle.
Noleta Nethercott — Sarah Turner.
Latrelle Williamson — Adele McClure.
Lavonda Dupree — Linda Sapienza.
G.W. Nethercott — Phil Sapienza.
Wardell “Bubba” Owens — Dan Howard.
Odell Owens — Michael Perez.
Dr. Eve Bolinger — Lu Murphy.
Earl “Brother Boy” Ingram — D. Bruce Lewis.
Rev. Barnes — Leland “Lee” Griffin.
Buster Bob — Cory Sapienza.
Director — Martha Cherbini.
Stage Manager — Susan Winters.
Producer — Dr. Tom Kennedy.
If you go
WHAT: “Sordid Lives.”
WHEN: 7 p.m. today, Saturday and Oct. 4, 5 and 6; 2 p.m. Sunday.
WHERE: Muskogee Little Theatre, at Cincinnati and D Streets.
TICKETS: Available at SoundWorld, 123 E. Okmulgee Ave., (918) 683-4901.
ETC.: The show is for adults only and contains adult language and content.