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Escanaba in Love

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Oh, about 12 years ago, movie actor Jeff Daniels wrote Escanaba in Da Moonlight. About a bunch of Yoopers. He lived over dere in Michigan on the other side of the Greatest Lake of Them All. Anyhow, he knew somethin' special when he saw it and dove right in -- uh, not in da lake, but inta da Soady family and their love of huntin' 'n' fishin'. That kind of ting could be what dey call "an acquired taste," eh? Well, I got that taste and I ain't ashamed.

Anyhow, Daniels, figurin' he had a good ting goin', later wrote another "Escanaba" play, called Escanaba in Love. And it's about them Soadys again, only dis time it goes back around 50 years earlier, ta before the Great Moonlit Night.

Sure, it's still about huntin' and fishin', real close to nature ... just like the two-holer outside. Only dis time them Soadys got a different problem. Albert Soady Jr. is in love. And he don't know dat much about women. He may be goin' off in da army to shoot Hitler's eyes out, Jr. bein' such a good shot and all, but he comes up to Soady Deer Camp announcin' he got married and he's brought his not-exactly-blushing bride, who used to be Big Betty Balou. That really gets his dad's and his granpa's britches in an uproar. See, a Soady tradition is: No Women Is Ever Allowed In Da Camp.

Well, funny stuff happens dis time, just like it will happen wit da same family in da future. And ya can tell some nice tings was comin' along too, back dere in 1944. But you kinda gotta get used to da stuff, like you would wit 212 proof Soady Maple Lightning. You gotta realize that the Soadys got their ways and their history and they could make you laugh, even though they's serious about how they live.

I suppose I oughta tell you about the acting and that sort a thing. Well, Jason Dille perfectly looks and sounds the part of Albert Jr., but Laura Pettera's Big Betty is a little too big in the interpretation department, if you know what I mean. The other guys is good too and Mark A. Calla directed it real well. And look at them well-conditioned clothes. You can almost smell 'em, eh?

 

Escanaba in Love continues through Nov. 22. Little Lake Theatre, 500 Lakeside Drive South, Canonsburg. 724-745-6300 or www.littlelaketheatre.org

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