Dearly Departed

Lionheart Theatre
through May 23, 2021

When the New York Daily News reviewed Dearly Departed they just had to opine that it was “drop dead funny.” And so it is. This is a riotous showcase with 13 great performers coming to you from somewhere down in Dixie. And if you look up the word “dysfunctional” in the Good Ole Boys Dictionary, I am pretty sure it says, “See family.”

The patriarch of the Turpin family cashes out after a libation and all hell starts to break loose. You know some of the family and friends; a son who is a real loser, a goofy sister, the local preacher man, and some neighbors who want to organize a meaningful funeral. But, how often would a window wish to have the slogan “Mean & Surly” on the tombstone of the dearly departed spouse?

Directed by Marla Krohn, the cast actually includes artistic director Tanya Caldwell, and a dozen other fine actors who pour their hearts into this hilarious show. It may not be for some Bible thumpers, or those who may have lost a dear one recently; but to the rest of us who are sick of watching the news each day; this is a terrific alternative. Two hours of non-stop humor, incredible goodies to nosh on, free parking and appropriate Covid cautions in force. It is a MUST SEE.

Show times are 7:30 on Fridays and Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays. More info at LionHeartTheatre.org




What a treat! You know the story is based on a collection of songs from ABBA, and the show is like Cats or Phantom. It will always come back, and always draw a great crowd of lovers who can’t get enough of it. And this is why we take off our hats and salute the City Springs Theatre Company for having the guts and the ability to bring it to the stage in these awful times.

Such a great amount of work with a large cast directed by Kristine Reese and Billy Tighe, with great dance numbers choreographed by Cindy Mora Reiser. Alas, the show could not be done at the usual indoor theater, so they put this all togeher to hit the boards at the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre (formerly the Verizon). And with strictly enforced Covid safety procedures, they played to an audience of more than 1,500 grateful viewers; who could watch the performance live on stage as well as video projected to large image screens adjacent to the stage.

Sad to say the show ran for only three performances, but as we may feel badly for the short run; we can also feel grateful that they got it done so well. The tavern owner, Donna (Kristine Reese) has a daughter, Sophie (Cecilia Trippiedi) who is about to be wed and she wants her dad to give her away. But, as you know, she hasn’t a clue who her father might be; so she invites all three, Sam (Benjamin H. Moore), Bill (Jeff Brooks) and Harry (Thanos Skouteris) to come to the island so maybe she’ll get to meet her dad.

The show runs through more than 20 numbers, every one of which makes folks want to stand, swing, clap and sing along; and that’s expected. This is a truly Broadway class theatre company; and if you missed this one just know that come September they will be back indoors at the Byer Theater in Sandy Springs. The Sound of Music opens September 10, and in next year they will bring us A Chorus Line in March, The Color Purple in May and West Side Story in July. So stay in touch with them at their website CitySpringsTheatre.com