by Bruce Graham
Directed by Kate Alexander.
Florida Studio Theatre, World Premiere, Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director.
Senior Lucy…Kim Crow
Bob…Britt Michael Gordon
Production Stage Manager Roy Johns
Stage Management Intern Sam Powers
Stage Management Fellow Jamie Thygesen
Set Designers Isabel & Moriah Curley-Clay
Props Designer/Supervisor Danielle McKay
Costume Designer Mari Taylor Floyd
Lighting Designer. Ben Rawson
Sound Designer/Supervisor Thom Korp
Production Manager Louis Vetter Torres
Performance Supervisor Allison Hannon
Video Producer Franki Arroyo
WORLD PREMIERE. It’s the 1970s and the small town of Beaver Gap, Pennsylvania has a problem. Tourism has declined, and it doesn’t look like there is any hope on the horizon. However, when a passionate resident joins forces with the bewildered city council, they devise a plan to rename the town to honor a dead, Native American war hero who never even visited the town during his lifetime. It’s a plan so wild – so insane – it just might work!
FST's 'Visit Joe Whitefeather' exposes tall tale concocted with good intentions
When a dying town uses a dead Native American hero to attract tourists, it strikes a deal with the devil. By Marty Fugate, Your Observer, excerpted
During the pandemic downtime of 2020, Florida Studio Theatre commissioned Bruce Graham to write a play as part of its Playwrights Project. “Visit Joe Whitefeather (and bring the family!)” is what he wrote — a Mel Brooksean comedy of loveable con artists. It’s just premiered at FST.
Graham’s play unfolds with a frame story. In the present, Lucy (Kim Crow) is a pot- smoking, aging hippie who owns a New Age gift shop called Tranquility. When a young documentary Wlmmaker named Marcus (London Carlisle), aims his camera and asks questions, Lucy relates her improbable tale. Flashback to 1974...
In the acting department, Crow is a cynical delight as the 70-something Lucy, (who’s not necessarily stoned but beautiful). Wallick is a ball of fire and feminist idealism as Lucy’s younger self. The characters deftly mirror each other. (They clearly worked hard synchronizing attitude and body language.)
You can't help but like these people. They break laws, violate ethics and trash morality. But they’re not villains. They’re sympathetic characters — who do all the wrong things for all the right reasons. But there’s no deal with Devil, just lots of baby steps to the dark side. Oddly, that’s somehow more disturbing...
You can expect to be entertained. If your conscience bugs you on the ride home, don’t be surprised.
Visit Joe Whitefeather’ in Sarasota: The Librarian Knows All by David Warner, The Gabber, excerpted
Why rename your town? Tourism! Or at least that’s what the residents of Beaver Gap think in Bruce Graham’s new comedy Visit Joe Whitefeather (and bring the family!). The show manages to be at once cynical and forgiving about human nature — and funny, too.
The cast, directed with elan by Kate Alexander, is terrific...Crow is spot-on as the older incarnation of Lucy, a pot-smoking bohemian with a wry sense of humor. Kraig Swartz is the mayor, a well-meaning font of political incorrectness. Case in point: Wishing to impress a visitor (played to steely perfection by Anat Cogan) with his knowledge of Native American customs, he tells her, “We’ll never walk a mile in your moccasins.” Malka Wallick, ideally cast as Crow’s younger counterpart, bristles with intelligence and (at first) high moral dudgeon. Britt Michael Gordon is charmingly low-key as a gentle cop who may or may not be a love interest for Lucy. Finally, Jared Sellick has a fine comic turn as an undertaker (ahem, “funeral director”) who bemoans the drop in his business caused by cigarette warnings and seat belts. My favorite character is Ellie Mooney’s Abigail, the sweet-as-pie town librarian. She’s also a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking harridan after hours. How does she find out everyone’s secrets? Because “I’m the f-ing librarian!” she announces. (Mooney does double duty as Joanie, the cranky town secretary and a Nixon fan.)
© 2013 Kim Crow