"Dearly Departed" opens at the West Coast Black Theatre this weekend. It is a comedy that has rarely if ever been performed by an African American Theatrical Company. And the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe is giving it's own special, never seen before, twist.
West Coast Black Theatre Founder, Nate Jacobs wears a dress for his part.
You've probably guessed "Dearly Departed " is a comedy.
Brian Boyd plays the Deceased. He says, "I play the husband to Raynell, and she and I have a rocky relationship in our long marriage, over 37 years, and at the top of the play I croke over and die. "
And he adds, "I'm pretty sure everyone's going to have a great time and fall over laughing. "
Actually the funny part happens after he dies.
The director, Harry Bryce says, "The family gathers to plan this funeral, and in the process they bring all of their baggage with them. "
And fur flies. Dametria Dee Selmore plays the dead man's wife. She says, "She's now trying to deal with her husband being gone and she's trying to hold her family together."
Harry Bryce says the theme is universal. "The subject matter has no particular culture or religion or race or breed, all of us as human beings have this experience at some point in our lives, and that is the ritual of burying our loved ones."
This play is a first for the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe.
Nate Jacobs says, "It's WBBT'S first legitimate comedy. We have done show with comedic tones, but this is from the first moment the lights come up on the stage to the last time you see the family."
Nate plays Margarita, the sister of the deceased. He says she is "The Bible toting, gospel speaking, evangelist of the family."
The audience will just about die laughing. And take home a great lesson.
Dametria Dee Selmore says the play inspires you to "Learn to enjoy life. Even in the most difficult times there is something to smile about . There is something to be hopeful about. There is love."
"Dearly Departed" is at the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe thru May 27. If you need a good laugh, this is the place to come.