NATCHEZ – This weekend, longtime Natchez Little Theater performer Judy Wiggins makes her directorial debut with a hysterical, moving, infuriating and heartbreaking Del Shores play “Daddy’s Dyin ‘Who’s Got the Will.”
Show hours are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Natchez Little Theater.
The performance will take viewers through a “wide range of emotions,” said Darlene Gilbert, who plays Saralee.
“I’m the girl in the middle, the one who stayed home while everyone else was gone and lived their lives,” Gilbert said. “I’m staying at home to take care of Mom and Dad Wheelis, even though she doesn’t think there is a need to take care of her. I try to keep everything together and try to make sure everyone gets along even though I’m the one who ends up popping a joint and losing it on everyone.
Gilbert added that she gets along particularly well with her character as she too stayed home to care for her parents as an adult before they passed away and understands what her character is going through in the play.
Gilbert said that others should come and see the play because they could relate to parts of the play as well.
“The past two years have been pretty crazy with COVID and we’re trying to get things back to normal as much as possible. The world of theater and music and artists have really taken a hit when it comes to COVID because everything has been shut down. Little by little, we get back on the road. This piece takes you through a wide range of emotions. We have fun, emotion, anger, shock. It’s a bit of everything and it’s very relevant, ”she said.
Rusty Jenkins, a seasoned actor who plays Daddy Turnover, has said his character is suffering from a severe stroke and is nearing the end of his life.
“My scenes are rather moving. People will laugh for sure, but it will make some people cry too, ”he said. However, Jenkins said the play has a lot more moments of laughter out loud than anything else.
When NLT performed ‘Sordid Lives,’ another Del Shores play, “this place was packed for three or four nights in a row,” Jenkins said.
“He wrote that play too, and it’s really funny,” he said.
Yvonne Murray, another veteran Natchez Little Theater performer, plays Mama Wheelis, the “very simple” grandmother.
“I don’t like when people curse,” she said. “I spend a lot of the room telling people to watch their tongues. I am also very outspoken and try to keep everyone in check, which is impossible.
Murray said one of her favorite scenes is when she pulls out a shotgun to flee neighbor’s destructive pooch, Sam, after stealing Mama Wheelis’ sausages and ruining her backyard.
Tickets cost $ 15 each and can be reserved by calling 601-442-2233 or emailing [email protected]