The story of two crazy families who put the “fun” in dysfunctional opens November 30 on the Farmington Players Barn stage in Farmington Hills.
The holiday farce “Let Nothing You Dismay,” by Topher Payne, focuses on Jewish and Christian families that collide, then unite, over the adoption of a baby born on Christmas Day. The play opened in 2015 in the author’s home state of Georgia. The Farmington Players Barn is staging the Midwest premiere.
Director Tony Targan of West Bloomfield describes the crazy farce as a cross between the TV sit-com “Modern Family” and the film “Juno”, which deals with adoption.
“This is the funniest play you’ve never heard of,” Targan said in a press release. “It’s also the most hilarious I’ve ever directed, which is saying a lot after Spamalot!”
Payne told Targan, “All families have beauty, dignity, and value. That shouldn’t really be up for debate, right? But there are plenty of folks who have a narrow definition of what ‘family’ is, and only recognize and respect families who meet that definition. Don’t be like that. You’ll only give yourself ulcers.”
Gary Weinstein of Farmington Hills plays three roles: a crotchety 80-year-old man, a Bulgarian who butchers the English language; and a loving Jewish father. Weinstein says when he first read the script he laughed out loud, and he believes audiences will love the play because “it’s a laugh a minute.”
Longtime Barn member Cynthia Tupper of Farmington Hills plays Charlotte, whom she describes as a “free spirited new age force to be reckoned with”; Noreen, the kooky nun; and Bubbie, the 84-year-old Jewish grandmother.
“The challenge of playing multiple roles has always been on my theatrical bucket list,” she said.
Jason Wilhoite of Farmington plays the dual roles of adoptive father Kevin and birth father Leonard. He said the holiday season reminds him that however you define family, “we all have people we love and respect and who make the world bearable just having them around you. This show beautifully brings that message to life.”