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Say 'amen' to laughter: 'Messiah on the Frigidaire' keeps it fresh
Lou Ann and Dwayne Hightower (Dyann Twitchell and KB Bell) find the masses are drawn to their trailer after a face appears on their refrigerator, left outside because it wont fit through the front door. A smaller stand-in fridge is shown here in this photo taken during rehearsals. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Great Bend Community Theatre wraps up its 2011-12 season with a small miracle: a satire about the lower-class residents of the south – rednecks – that avoids stale cliches and somehow locks in freshness. In “Messiah on the Frigidaire,” a series of comic events takes place in Elroy, S.C., at the trailer of Dwayne and Lou Ann Hightower.
Thanks to the imagination of playwright John Culbertson, director Chris Curtright says this play will have the audience laughing but also reflecting on the human condition.
The characters could all be described as trailer trash, from the disillusioned Lou Ann to her dim-witted husband Dwayne. Lou Ann’s best friend Betsy has a promiscuous past, although she’s now happily married. There’s also a sometimes misguided preacher and a shady city councilman/businessman. There’s also one big non-human star: an oversized refrigerator set up on the Hightowers’ front porch – because it won’t fit through the front door.
“It’s actually going to be plugged in and running and have food in it,” Curtright said.
Through a series of events, the face of Jesus – or maybe it’s Willie Nelson – appears on the refrigerator door.
The play stars Dyann Twitchell as Lou Ann Hightower, KB Bell as Dwayne Hightower, Lou Ann Watson as Betsy Gridley, Paul Martin as the Rev. Hodges and Jeff Gibson as Larry Williamson, as well as Susan Mills, Andrew Curtright (the director’s son) and John O’Connor.
“Messiah on the Frigidaire” opens Thursday and runs through Sunday, April 22, at the Crest Theater, 1905 Lakin Ave., Great Bend. Show times are 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.
The box office will be open from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, and one hour before each performance. The telephone number is 620-792-4228 (792-GBCT)