We Put the ‘Fun’ in Funeral
“Sometimes things have to blow up before they get better.” And blow up they do in the Cincinnati Fringe Next performance of We Put the ‘Fun’ in Funeral, but all in a delightfully funny way.
We Put the ‘Fun’ in Funeral, written by Hannah Regan and Jimmy Stratman of Notre Dame Academy and Covington Catholic High School (with additional writing by Audrey Hehman of Notre Dame), follows a young man Trey as he struggles to cope with his dysfunctional extended family. He finds sanity and strength in his parents Jason and Sharron, but when Jason dies in a fire, Trey is forced to face his family again for the first time in fifteen years. The teenage cast of We Put the ‘Fun’ in Funeral was able to work together effortlessly and comfortably as an ensemble, giving the impression of true family connections with one another.
Norb Wessels played Trey, a young man irritated by his family, especially by their blatant disrespect of his beloved father Jason at his funeral. Wessels’ cynical yet witty humor and deep devotion to both his role and, though subconsciously, his “family” onstage created a strong leading character.
Other standouts include Meagan Turner as Trey’s gossipy Aunt Kathy and Katie Maurer as the lovable and erratic Grandma. Turner’s overly animated facial expressions and obnoxious characterizations made her laughable antics especially hilarious. Maurer, though having a smaller role with less speaking moments than others, drew attention as she wandered about the stage with a blissfully oblivious look on her face, eating various plants and mistaking all of her relatives’ identities. Maurer’s over-the-top, screwy mannerisms made her a constantly humorous presence onstage.
The set, though simply made, clearly depicted the various settings of the story. Though there was limited stage crew available, they executed scene changes quickly and efficiently, which contributed to the flow of the story.
Although teenagers, the cast and crew of We Put the ‘Fun’ in Funeral turned in a very quirky and original show. The play’s quick humor while conveying the universal message of the importance of family reminds us of our own wacky relationships with others, summed up in Trey’s final phrase: “Well…here we go again!”
By: Lindsey Franxman