“FrUiTCaKeS” is a holiday comedy written by Julian Wiles and set in a small Georgia in the 1980s. It opened last week at the Whidbey Playhouse in Oak Harbor and runs through Dec. 22 with a large cast of community players of all ages.
Handyman Mack does odd jobs, makes whirligigs and sells Christmas trees to distract him from thinking about his long estrangement from his son and grandson. Jamie is a young runaway from a distant city, who seeks shelter one stormy night and is discovered sleeping in Mack’s barn.
As the townsfolk make their way to Mack’s tree sale or to seek his assistance in various ways, the audience is slowly introduced to the members of McCords Ferry, Georgia, the true “fruitcakes” of the story. These motely characters include Alice and Sara, the elderly sisters who argue endlessly in a house split down the middle with borderlines, while making fruitcakes and eggnog for the other characters who live in town.
Beebo is the local policeman who provides the town’s Christmas decoration extravaganza and whose wife Betty Jane directs the children’s Christmas Pageant in Mack’s barn.
Skeeter is a fisherman and Harvard graduate, who enjoys quoting lines of poetry.
Mattie Sue is a child of the 70s, has been married six times and is a friend to everyone, both real and imaginary.
Add to this list of lovable lights a host of delightful children in the middle of a chicken pox epidemic, the colorful themes of holiday merriment, and the tearful resolution of relationships, and a heartwarming tale of the season comes to life.
“FrUiTCaKes” is directed by Anita Rich, with technical design by Jim Rich.
The show runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 22; and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 16 and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22 at Whidbey Playhouse, 730 SE Midway, Oak Harbor.
Tickets are $16. Call the box office at 360-679-2237 or visit Whidbey Playhouse for more info.
Pictured at top, Brenna Richards, 10, plays Sally and Kevin Meyer is Mack in the Whidbey Playhouse production of “Fruitcakes.”