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'Southern Hospitality' last in Futrelle sisters trilogy

| Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, 8:39 p.m.
Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review
(from left) Michael Crosby and Larry Hart, both of Greensburg, rehearse for the Apple Hill Playhouse upcoming produciton of 'Southern Hospitality' on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at the Apple Hill Playhouse in Delmont, PA.
Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review
(from left) Briana Downs of Delmont, Linda Stayer of Murrysville, Christine Helsel of Johnstown and Adrienne Fischer of Pittsburgh rehearse for the Apple Hill Playhouse upcoming produciton of 'Southern Hospitality' on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at the Apple Hill Playhouse in Delmont, PA.
Kim Stepinsky | for the Tribune-Review
(from left), 'King Minos', Dave Fraley, of Wexford, approaches the architect, 'Daedalus', Doug Peters, of Harrison City, and his son, 'Icarus', Cam Swartz, 14, of Delmont, during a rehearsal held at the Theatre Factory in Trafford on Saturday morning, July 27, 2013, of the upcoming KidWorks production of 'Myth Adventures'.

Theatergoers who laughed at the antics of the Futrelle sisters in productions of “Dearly Beloved” or “Christmas Belles” will be happy to know they're back in the Apple Hill Playhouse production of “Southern Hospitality.”

The third comedy in the trilogy by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten finds the four siblings faced with a big challenge — to save their beloved hometown of Fayro, Texas, from becoming a ghost town.

It seems as if residents are leaving the area en masse ever since the closure of two major businesses. But when a salsa-manufacturing company is looking to relocate, Honey Raye sees an opportunity to lure them to Fayro, making some big promises that she may be unable to keep.

Given their track record of getting into jams and finding creative ways out of them, the sisters don't disappoint in this show, according to Briana Downs of Delmont, who plays Honey Raye.

“If you think your family is crazy, wait until you see what the Futrelle sisters have in store for audiences,” she says. “They are just as wacky and fun as ever.”

Besides being a sassy businesswoman with a flair for delegating, Honey Ray is energetic and very loving to her family — when she gets her way.

“Honey Raye also has a darker side, when it comes to her nemesis, Joveeta Crumpler. You won't believe what happens after decades of dislike for Joveeta,” Downs says.

Helping Honey Raye in her mission to save her hometown are her sisters Frankie (Adrienne Fischer), Twink (Christine Helsel) and Rhonda Lynn (Linda Stayer).

Directing the Apple Hill comedy is James Dixon of Export, who recently moved into the area from North Carolina.

He says the trilogy that focuses on the lives of the Futrell sisters is popular among theatergoers because the plays are “just like following your good friends. You want to know the good things in their lives but also want to know the bad things that happen. You are drawn into their lives and want to know if Twink ever gets married. Does Honey Raye find lucky husband No. 6? Or do Frankie and Dub lose their love for each other and get a divorce?”

All of these questions and more unresolved family issues will be answered in Apple Hill's production of “Southern Hospitality,” Dixon says.

The cast includes Rozella Hoffman, Alexandra Swartz, Mike Crosby, Larry Hart, Frankie Shoup, Rob Stull, Craig Soich, Clare Ratway and Tony Slomovski. Stephen Toth is stage manager.

Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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