‘Night Comes Early’

Blue Slipper farce kicks off Friday evening
By: 
Nate Howard —
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Enterprise photos by Nate Howard

Dan, a set construction worker, left, played by Sean DePaso, attempts to communicate with an intoxicated Harry Bullard, played by Steven Harris-Weiel, the town’s undertaker, who reads lines into a knife as if it’s a microphone to Lynn, the assistant set contraction worker played by Elizabeth Hewey.

Dan, left, attempts to communicate with an intoxicated Harry Bullard, the town’s undertaker, who reads lines into a knife as if it’s a microphone to Lynn, the assistant set contraction worker.

Harry Bullard, played by Steven Harris-Weiel, the town’s undertaker, flirts aggressively with Amanda Bailey played by Kory Gunderson.

For those about to cry, consider laughing, at the expense of the Blue Slipper Theatre in their production of a farce, “Night Comes Early,” a fast paced comedy by Burton Bumgarner.

It’s a schadenfreude kin-ofthing — the German word which describes the wicked joy one finds in another’s struggle.

Disaster comes to a small community theater in present-day Michigan, which is having a hell of a time making the show even coherent.

The audience has a true but exaggerated view of the behind-the-scenes production of community theater, and sympathy for the cast is overcome with laughter.

If there is a thread throughout the story, it’s more like barbed wire.

Cast members forget their lines, read lines from the wrong scene, even read stage directives. Some actors quit forcing others to take on multiple roles in both gender.

Harry Ballard, the town’s undertaker, played by Steven Harris Weiel, is a character that sums up the show.

He enters in Act 2 wearing a hospital gown, an arm sling, a foot brace, drinks from a flask, empties a pill bottle in his mouth and passes out.

Freddie Mercury sings of the catastrophic situation of the show’s director, Missy Bailey, played by Chaeli Mulholland, in “Show Must Go On.”

“Can I please get a blackout?” pleads Bailey on stage as if to put her out of her misery.

Off stage, the veteran actress and former Livingston resident, now living in Arizona, said leaving theater in Livingston was as hard as leaving her daughters, ages 20 and 23 in Bozeman.

Kory Gunderson, a co-cast member and friend of Mulholland, had called Mulholland and told her the perfect part for her.

Mulholland took a six-week leave from work and returned to Livingston for the show.

“I’d of come back for any show,” she said.

Performances of “Night Comes Early” are on weekends Aug. 17 through Sept. 2, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

The Blue Slipper Theatre is located at 113 E. Callender St. in Livingston.