“It’s set in a small Texas town in Anytime, USA, actually in 1986,” Leigh Anne Smith, of Portsmouth Little Theater, said. “It concerns the reunion of a family gathered to await the imminent death of their patriarch, who recently suffered a physically as well as mentally-disabling stroke.”
That is the synopsis of the play, “Daddy’s Dyin’Who’s Got the Will?” coming to Portsmouth Little Theater.
In essence, however, it is not the story of the impending demise of the father or of the drafting of his will, but of a rebirth of the spirit of the family unit. Without becoming ponderous, losing a sense of humor or pandering to timeworn cliches about Texans or Texas drawls, the story shares many elements of a good summer novel with funny moments, tense moments, touching moments and characters you care about.
Smith wants people who see that scenario to not take it too seriously.
“It’s a comedy,” Smith said. “It’s funny, I swear.
“It’s going to be a fantastic show. It’s really, really funny.”
Smith said a lot of theater veterans are assembled in the cast.
“We’ve got four siblings who come together. And then we’ve got a grandmother who is still in the picture,” Smith said. “One of the siblings is a rebel and she brings her hippie boyfriend to the mix.”
“Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?” written by Del Shores and directed by Guinevere Mercer, will be performed at the Portsmouth Little Theater on Lawson Street, May 20-21 and 27-28 at 7 p.m. each night.
Smith said tickets will be available online at PLTlive.com and one hour before showtime the box office will open.