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The Red Velvet Cake War directed by Karen Marchuska Synopsis: This play is centered around the three Verdeen cousins and their plans to throw a family reunion for their crazy Southern-fried Texan family. From each of their recent actions, the family has become the gossip subject of the town. At the beginning of the play, the cousins haven’t seen each other in a while. Their know-it-all aunt, La Merle is not happy to see Peaches back in town, and is definitely not happy that Gaynelle has chosen to throw the family reunion despite the state that everyone is in. In her anger, Gaynelle declares that she can make a better cake than La Merle’s legendary red velvet, and La Merle is quick to raise the stakes and declare that if she wins, she gets Gaynelle’s house. Hilarity ensues as the cousins try in vain to find a good recipe and some red food dye (which Aunt La Merle has bought all of), and they even find themselves in jail. On the day of the reunion and the big taste off, it seems that Gaynelle is as sure as committed and will lose her house- but the reunion isn’t over yet! Characters: Gaynelle Verdeen Bodeen (F)- one of the cousins. Is in trouble for accidently crashing her minivan into her husband’s girlfriend’s trailer, and is currently being psychiatrically evaluated. The evaluation is worrying her and most of the play she is at breaking point. Jimmie Wyvette Verdeen (F)- another cousin. Rough around the edges tomboy that is flustered in her attempts to attract her newly single male neighbor. Peaches Verdeen Belrose (F)- the third cousin. Is the girliest cousin and is desperate to get some action now that her husband is gone. Tries to take Gaynelle’s suitor off of her hands while helping Jimmie Wyvette sabotage her competition. La Merle Verdeen Minshew (F)- their aunt. A bitter old women who wanted the family reunion cancelled because of current events and wants to enact her revenge on the cousins by sabotaging their cake. Newt Blaylock (M)- the neighbor that is trying to win Gaynelle’s affections. Has a fake eyeball that is constantly falling out and causing problems. Elsa Dowdall (F)- the psychiatrist assigned to Gaynelle. European-born, stern, and ultra efficient. Bitsy Hargis (F)- another neighbor that is trying to win over the newly single neighbor, and is constantly sabotaging Jimmie Wyvette’s efforts to charm him. Perky, prim, and nosy. Aubrey Verdeen (M)- La Merle’s uncle. Likes to constantly one-up La Merle. Cee Cee Windham (F)- the peppy hostess of a local cable program who is friends with the cousins. Sherrif Grover Lout (M)- local cop with a bad attitude that startles easily. Mama Doll Hargis (F)- Bitsy’s mother who has short term memory loss Purvis Verdeen (F)- One of the cousins at the reunion. Likes to show everyone pictures of dead Verdeen relatives. Gaynelle: (trying to prove herself to La Merle) I’ll tell you exactly how, Miss Sour Britches! Oh, I’m hosting this reunion all right, and it’s gonna be the best one in Verdeen family history. And it’ll be a really good time for a change, unlike the constipated snooze-fests you throw every year. And you know what? I’ll bake Uncle Aubrey the most incredible red velvet cake he’s ever laid tongue to! And you’ll just have to shut your yap and accept it. Peaches: My point is when Rex and I did get together we were a darn good match. It was a very satisfying marriage in many ways. So, when you don’t have that warm body next to you every night, things feel out of whack. I just can’t stand it anymore! Girls, the truth of it is, these luscious lips were meant to be kissed! Newt: (confessing his feeling to a sleeping Gaynelle) I know you’re having a hard time right now and I don’t want to be another rough patch in you already miserable life. But it’s hard not to be attracted to you. Your skin’s so pale and soft- lookin’, you’ve got two of the most expressive eyes and believe me, I pay attention to that kind of thing.
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