Playwright Kathleen Clark understands the friction between Southerners and Northerners.
Her family hails from both parts of the country.
“Southerners are a little bit more spirited,” Clark told the Star a few years ago, as her play “Southern Comforts” was preparing to open at Invisible Theatre. “Northerners are a bit more staid.”
Now Live Theatre Workshop is preparing to open a production of “Southern Comforts,” which means Tucsonans have another chance to meet Clark’s feisty septuagenarians, she from the South, he from the North.
Here are a few reasons why you may not want to miss this romantic comedy:
1. The story. Amanda is a Southern charmer from Tennessee. Gus grew up and lives in New Jersey. The two meet when Amanda travels to New Jersey to visit her daughter. He is stubborn, loves to dine in front of his favorite TV show, and travel has absolutely no appeal to him. Plus, he’s a Republican. Amanda is easygoing, is a bit shocked at the notion of dinner with the television, and loves to travel. Plus, she’s a Democrat. But they are both single and stubborn as anyone who has been around for 70-plus years has a right to be. Sparks fly when they fall in love. And then sparks fly in different ways when they try to negotiate a life together.
2. The substance. The play is loaded with laughs and has a charm that is tough to ignore. But it has its serious side, too. Dealing with the aftermath of war, death and the struggle to love long past the time when you thought you would ever find it again are among the issues that give the play some weight, without ever weighing it down.
3. The artists. Sheldon Metz is directing the production — he has proved he has a deft hand with comedy (“The Cemetery Club” at Live Theatre in 2013) as well as drama (“The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” Beowulf Alley Theatre, 2011). Michael Woodson, a regular on Tucson stages, plays Gus, and Pat Timm, who has made a strong impact in her short time acting in Tucson, is his love interest, Amanda.