In her directorial debut with The Pumphouse Players, Jen Garrett will bring Woody Allen’s romantic comedy “Play It Again, Sam” to the Cartersville stage.
“When I was asked to direct ‘Play It Again, Sam’ I was very excited,” Garrett said. “I had just recently seen the movie and it quickly became my favorite Woody Allen film. I have been excited to open this show here in Cartersville because it’s an extremely hilarious show that I think everyone will enjoy and walk away from really thinking about the various types of love and how easy finding it can be when you stop looking and trying to impress someone.
“Directing has been an extremely rewarding experience. My cast has been so gracious and patient with [me] while I try to figure everything out. I’ve really loved watching my vision come to life and spring forth from the minds of these actors. It’s a great feeling to have something you can see so clearly come to fruition. And watching them all come up with new and surprising things that I never would have thought of for their characters has been amazing.”
To be performed at The Legion Theatre, 114 W. Main St. in Cartersville, “Play It Again, Sam” will be presented Feb. 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. The cast will consist of Tony Bowers, Olivia Cantrell, Meghann Humphreys, John Katrek, Aimee Kerry, Sabrina Payne, Jessica Terry, Bob Whaley and Ashleigh Woodall.
“The show is about a man who loses love, but gains confidence,” Garrett said. “Allan Felix is a bundle of nerves. His wife leaves him and, all of a sudden, he’s thrust back into the dating world. With some help from his best friend, Dick; Dick’s wife, Linda; his idol, Humphrey Bogart; and with hindrance from his ex-wife, Nancy, Allan goes on some of the worst dates imaginable, only to find that if he would just be himself he could ‘get a pretty good dame to fall for him without even trying.’
“I believe this still appeals to audiences because everyone is searching for love in life, either actively or passively. This show really resonates in that you learn that if you just let people see your quirks and flaws you’ll find the person who loves you for you.”<B>
For Whaley, portraying Allan Felix is providing several new opportunities, enabling him to embody a “high-energy” character in an Allen play.
“Allan Felix is a neurotic. He was written by Woody Allen to be played by Woody Allen,” Whaley said. “He’s nervous. He has trouble communicating his ideas to people. I think he just thinks too fast and he can’t form the words fast enough. He’s a good guy. Everything he does is pretty straightforward. Really, he wants to be with somebody and be fully with somebody.
“... But he is a character that I’ve never actually portrayed on stage. Usually I like playing villains and stuff like that, but he is very high energy. A lot of qualities that I don’t have, he does and vice versa. It’s just been a very fun experience. ... It’s a show I would love to see if I wasn’t in it. I’m just very thankful that I’m in it.”
Tickets for “Play It Again, Sam” are $14 for general admission, $12 for pre-paid groups of 10 or more people and $10 for Pumphouse Players members. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.pumphouseplayers.com or call 770-387-2610.