In case there was any doubt, this show is pure proof that there is quality community theatre in Louisville.
In the fast-paced production by the Louisville Repertory Company that opened Friday, Claire (Diane Stretz-Thurmond) wakes up each morning as if it were first day of her life; she suffers from a rare form of amnesia which resets her memory each time she falls asleep.
Her dedicated husband Richard (Brent Gettelfinger) fills the gaps in her memory every morning before going to work. Today, however, that which functions as the “new normal” is interrupted, as a masked man with a limp (Sean Childress) crawls out from under Claire’s bed and kidnaps her.
The plot twists and thickens in wildly comic ways as Claire is taken to her mother Gertie’s house, where Millet (Darren McGee), a bizarre man who talks through his dirty-mouthed sock puppet, Binky, leaks information to Claire that this frenetic day isn’t quite what it seems.
Anne Meyer turns in a tremendous performance as Gertie, who has recently had a stroke. With the speech impediment and physical challenges that burden her character, the role could easily swallow a less-talented actor. Meyer breezes through her difficult dialogue with ease, and brings honest vulnerability to the role.
McGee is fascinating to watch as he flips personalities between harmless innocent and rabid criminal.
The sound design, by J.A. Martin is stellar, and compliments the action without drawing focus.
In an absurdly intriguing plot which keeps the audience laughing and shaking their heads until the poignant end, Fuddy Meers is a comic reminder that no matter how bad we think things are in our own lives, they can always, always, be worse.
Fuddy Meers, directed by Amy Lewis Zeigler, continues through March 11. Tickets are $16 for adults and $11 for students. A special Industry Night performance will be held tonight, March 8, at 8 pm. All tickets for tonight’s show are $11. The show is recommended for ages 14 and up.
Reservations can be made online, by calling the Kentucky Center box office at 502-584-7777 or in person. Seating at the MeX is first come, first serve.
Image: Courtesy Louisville Repertory Company