By Vanessa Garcia
Be a Good Little Widow won me over with its simplicity and comedy.
The play tells a story about the married and widowed life of Melody, played by Elizabeth McKenzie. She is three years out of college. Her husband Craig, played by Josiah Castro, is a businessman who dies in an accident. A distraught Melody faces difficult times, but with the help of Craig’s mother Hope, played by Susan Stafford, she comes to terms with her late husband’s death with lots of laughter and lots of bantering.
The storyline is tragic. It has that P.S. I Love You feel, but the play is highly hilarious. The cast did such a great job. It’s more nerve-wracking with fewer actors on stage, and I was entertained by their acting.
My favorite line was by Adam Otwell, who plays Brad, Craig’s employee. He says while upset and drunk, “Sometimes I’m taking a s— and I just think…why, y’know? Like, what’s the point?”
They stole my full attention with the way they portrayed their characters and the way they pitched those comedic lines. I believed for a moment that I was watching four individuals going through a life-changing event. I felt like I was peeking into Melody’s life, pain and silliness intact. The way these characters went back and forth with each other was similar to my day-to-day life.
College students can relate to this play. It is important for the audience to connect with the storyline, and this play makes that possible. Melody does not know what to do with her life and feels lost. She does not know who she is and is lonely. College students can relate to that. Because the play is only 90 minutes with no intermission, the actors have to draw in the audience quickly. The familiarity of Melody finding herself truly draws in the audience.
Students also can relate to the personalities. When I think of a married couple, I expect them to be mature and proper. These characters do not hold back on profanities and vulgarity. The “F” word is used several times, as are other profanities. Dancing, half nudity and drinking also is involved. To those who live a much-censored life, do not go see the play. To everyone else, it is worth seeing, and I promise laughter will ensue.
The advertisements for Be a Little Good Widow are misleading, though. When I saw the poster, my vivid imagination concluded that the widow is a secret agent. My friend thought the setting was in the 1960s. The advertisement proves that looks are deceiving.
The setting was in Melody and Craig’s house. It was adorable. The designers of the set created a visual, two-story house. The living room is painted blue, to the right is the dining room and in the middle are stairs. I was impressed with the structure of the setup and design.
Overall, Be a Good Little Widow is unique in its simplicity, humor and familiarity. It definitely is a go-getter with its quirkiness.
“Be a Good Little Widow” is by Bekah Brunstetter. It is directed by A. Ray Rewburg, Jr. and produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc. Four actors are in the play; Elizabeth McKenzie plays Melody, Josiah Castro plays Craig, Susan Stafford plays Hope and Adam Otwell plays Brad. Tickets cost $5 for seniors, students, faculty and staff and $7 for adults. Remaining showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 and 3:30 p.m. Oct. 20. Call for reservations at 806-371-5359.