Actresses Michelle Champoux, Toody Lawrence and Deni Scofield star in "Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean," opening Aug. 4 at the Mesa Verde Performing Arts Center. Photo by Jeremy Meehan of Day Forty-One

Entertainment

Play tackles issues of gender, sexuality, fear of banality

By From page B1 | August 02, 2017

Errant Phoenix Productions is currently staging a production of the dramatic comedy “Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,” written by Ed Graczyk.

The 1976 play, later interpreted into a movie of the same title, is set in a small town outside of Marfa, Texas, where the 1950’s James Dean movie “Giant” was filmed. Although it was written more than 40 years ago, the play tackles hard issues that are even more relevant today than when it was first produced.

“Come Back to the Five & Dime” is set in a small town dime store in West Texas, where the “Disciples of James Dean” gather for their 20th reunion. While enjoying their reunion, they flashback to their past. However, the arrival of a stranger unravels a series of confrontations that upset their web of lies, disappointments and self-delusions.

The show is directed by John Ewing and features Shirley Sayers as Juanita, Deni Scofield as Mona, Toody Lawrence as Sissy, Janine La Forge as Stella Mae, Nicole Shallig as Edna Louise, Michelle Champoux as Joanne, Katie Peters as Mona (then), Tyler Traum as Sissy (then) and Chris Jensen as Joe.

The London Standard hails “Come back to the Five & Dime” as “A challenging piece of theatre.” The Gannet Newspapers called the play “a work of amazing dramatic power … ingenious, shocking … funny, brimming with pathos, wise and full of wonder at the sometimes sinister tricks of life. The best play I have seen in years.”

Errant Phoenix Productions is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that supports, promotes and empowers local performing artists as they contribute to the cultural enrichment of the Sacramento region.

“Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” will have nine performances Aug. 4-20 at the Mesa Verde Performing Arts Center, 7501 Carriage Drive in Citrus Heights. Tickets available online at errantphoenix.com for $17 presale or $20 at the door. For more information about the company and this production, visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/ErrantPhoenix/ or errantphoenix.com.

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