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Posted: April 22, 2012 11:09 p.m.

Red Carpet Review: ’Til Beth Do Us Part

Jessica Smith/

The New Depot Players are back in their comedic sweet spot with the new show, "'Til Beth Do Us Part," opening on April 25. From the play-writing trinity of Jones Hope Wooten, directed with the timing genius of Cyndi Evans and featuring a crackerjack cast, this is a can't-miss performance.

"Chocolate is cheaper than therapy, and you don't have to make an appointment," said Suzannah Hayden, corporate droid at Carmichael's Chocolates and frustrated wife. "'Til Beth Do Us Part" is a very close second to chocolate.

Kim Fratesi, as Suzannah, plays the frazzled working wife and straight woman with precision. Constantly at the beck and call of an imperious, British C.E.O., Celia Carmichael, she is in no mood to deal with her husband Gibby's domestic shortcomings. Weatherman Gibby suffers from what Suzannah's best friend Margo refers to as O.M.S. - "Oblivious Male Syndrome." Talented Tom Johnson gives Gibby just enough heart and good nature the audience will root for him despite his faults.

Margo, is a divorcee on a tear, continually "falling in and out of lust." The quirky character queen, Patty Maguire, inhabits her range of supportive friend, cougar on the prowl and vindictive, yet vulnerable, ex-wife. Margo is the mastermind who connects Suzannah with her new assistant, Beth.

Commandeering the Hayden household, Beth Bailey from Biloxi, Miss., attacks neglected projects, serves up chicken and dumplings all while outfoxing Suzannah's business competitors.

But, is she too good to be true? Gibby certainly thinks so as Beth - "the Southern belle from hell" - disposes of his recliner, lucky boxer shorts and golf trophies, and he rightly suspects he's next up. Playing the wickedly wily Beth is Amy LeCates, mistress of the Southern girl's charms.

Banished from his home, Gibby bunks with his best friend, and Margo's ex-husband, Hank. Paul Casola is always a merry, engaging presence on stage, and his incarnation as Hank is no exception. Hank's wanna-be ladies man bravado quickly wears thin as Gibby witnesses the pitiful reality of his bachelorhood.

Determined to win his wife and home back, Gibby enlists Margo and Hank in a campaign to expose Beth's evil scheme when Celia Carmichael crosses the pond for an important meeting leading to a zany and gratifying conclusion. Conyers grand dame of the arts, Judy Mauran, returns to the stage in a divine cameo as Celia.

Director Evans was "pumped for the experience" after a two-year hiatus. "I love creating a funny romp both the actors and audience will enjoy."

"'Til Beth Do Us Part" runs April 25 through 28 and May 3 through 5 at 8 p.m. with 3 p.m. matinees on April 29 and May 6 at 910 Center Street in Conyers. General admission tickets are $20, and the student/senior rate is $16. Preview night is Wednesday, April 25 at 8 p.m. - featuring $10 tickets.

A limited number of half-price tickets are available at http://cashcache.covnews.com for the April 26 and April 29 performances.

To purchase regular tickets, go to www.thenewdepotplayers.com or call (678) 374-3224.

 

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