The Bethany Area Repertory Theatre (BART) opened “Good King Succotash” last week, to a sold out house. Written by Bethany-area playwright Bob Davis, “Good King Succotash” is Part II of a holiday trilogy, set in the Hamptons at Christmastime.
The play highlights the gathering of two dysfunctional families, the Tomlinson clan — first introduced in Part I of the trilogy, “We Gather Together,” and their future in-laws, the Fenwicks. Those who attend performances will experience the twists and turns of a Christmas dinner that turns into an epic holiday fiasco.
“It’s a play about a dysfunctional family at Christmastime. It’s nothing but a bunch of laughs. It’s so much fun — definite a must-see,” said actress Veronica Bona, who plays Missy, who is pregnant with twins.
“They say I’m about 13 months along,” she said with a laugh.
“Once again Bob has brought both old and new characters to life in a very witty fashion, and all of us are thrilled to be part of another Davis production,” remarked Jeff Martini, who plays Thaddeus, an old gentleman just released from a long prison stay.
The play will close out this week, with its last performance on Nov. 22. Tickets cost $25 per person, with the parlor doors opening at 7 p.m.
“It is very exciting to be able to continue unfolding the story of the Tomlinson family, and it is especially fulfilling to see it produced right here in our local community on the Dickens stage,” said Davis.
Bona recommended that all those in the community looking for a fun night out on the town to head to Dickens for a night of laughs.
“It is highly recommended for a super evening out to see this play. It’s so much fun. You see local people acting — it’s your neighbors, friends, business owners in the area who come together to do this. Everybody should get involved in it. It’s a lot of fun.”
Bona got involved with BART a year ago, with her first play being “Rudy and Ruby,” a robot love story.
“Someone said, ‘Oh, they’re having auditions.’ So, I went down to audition, and Bob said, ‘We’d like you to understudy all the female parts.’ I said, ‘Sure!’ Anything to get my foot in the door.’ … And I haven’t looked back since.”
“It was fabulous. It just keeps getting more and more fun,” she added. “I’ve always loved the theater. It’s been in my life — but in the dance world, not the acting world. I don’t know why I never did it before. It’s been a blast. It really has. I love doing it.”
Of enjoying the stage after only a year of acting, Bona said it feels natural.
“I’m a ham — what can I say,” she said with a laugh. “I think making people laugh really makes me happy. I like to make people happy, and this is one way I can do that. Plus, I get to dress up and act like a clown. That makes it a lot of fun.”
Bona said BART is full of community members who all love the theater, and she hopes more people will join the organization.
“It’s a wonderful family. That’s the way I feel. I have made such wonderful new family members with these people. They’re fun to work with, warm and loving, every single one of them,” she said. “You don’t dread going in, because everybody is there for the same reason — to have a good time.
“Some of us have worked together before, and others, it’s their first time. But always by the end of the show we’re family. It’s a wonderful camaraderie we get doing these plays, because we get to clown around and make friends.”
As with all of Davis’ plays, Bona said, “Good King Succotash” is a “laugh a minute” and shouldn’t be missed.
“Everybody should come out and see one of Bob Davis’ plays at least once, and then they’ll be hooked forever and ever,” she said, adding, “It’s a wonderful venue.”
To purchase tickets, call (302) 829-1071 or go online at www.dptmagic.com. For more information on BART and upcoming events, follow BART at facebook.com/BARTinBethany, or send an email to BartattheDickens@aol.com to be added to the Friends of BART mailing list.