‘Fuddy Meers’ Evokes Farrelly Brothers’-Style Dark Comedy

COLUMBUS, GA. - Imagine waking in the morning and not recognizing the bed you’re in, your clothing, your room surroundings and the people around you.

This circumstance ushers in the zany comedy “Fuddy Meers,” a Columbus State University Theatre production to run 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 2 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3 at CSU’s Theatre on the Park in downtown Columbus.

Assistant Professor Larry McDonald directs the play that begins with Claire (Samantha Hughes) waking to her husband Richard (Chase Anderson) explaining to her that she suffers from a form of psychogenic amnesia that erases her memory every night when she goes to sleep.

From this point, playwright David Lindsay-Abaire has established a “funhouse plot,” focused on Claire trying to regain her memory amid a hodgepodge of bizarre characters and resulting in “a roller coaster ride through this woman’s past,” said McDonald.

Confusion intensifies as a stranger — a peculiar, limping man (Nicholas Wolfe) wearing a ski mask — enters claiming to be Claire’s brother and whisks her away to see her supposed mother. Richard responds by summoning Heidi (Summer McCusker), a woman who may or may not be a cop, to return Claire “home” and to her overgrown, eighth-grade son Kenny (Evan Fricks), who has issues of his own.

Rounding out a dysfunctional cast of characters is Millet (Dureyea Collier), an ex-convict with a foul-mouthed puppet and Claire’s mother Gertie (Lena Thomas), whose stroke-impaired metaphorical reference to “funny mirror” provides the play’s namesake.

“Fuddy Meers is really a dark comedy,” said McDonald, likening it to a Farrelly Brothers’ movie. “Every character that inhabits this world is in some way distinctly dysfunctional, either physiologically or psychologically, and the comedy really ensues when their lives collide one day in the most unexpected ways.”

In addition to the story, McDonald said he has particularly enjoyed the overall production. “From the beginning I’ve called this cast of student actors my ‘dream cast’ because of their many natural talents, and they've certainly lived up to that title in making these characters very real and human ... not to mention insanely funny.”

Seating is limited and the play contains mature language. Tickets are $15 per adult; $13 apiece for seniors, children, active military and CSU alumni; and free for students, faculty and staff with CSU ID. Call 706-507-8444 or go to http://theatre.colstate.edu/tickets.htm.