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OFP comedy will want you to be called crazy too

February 15, 2017

Sometimes the “crazy person” is the smartest one in the room – it’s just that the so-called normal people aren’t bright enough to comprehend his wisdom.

Such is the case of Joe “Doc” Babcock in Old Fort Players’ two-act comedy “If the Lord’s Willing and Creek Don’t Rise” opening Friday night at the OFP Theater, 725 Ave. G, Fort Madison.

OFP veteran Jim Cole brings his usual animated delivery to bring Doc and his eccentric ways to life. A former judge who left the bench when his wife died, Doc flies around in a hot air balloon, encourages people to fish in a dry creek, and insists his wife is always with him “she is just in the next room.”

But Doc has a daughter, Charlotte, who refuses to see his behavior as enlightening, or perhaps his own coping mechanism. Instead, she wants his power of attorney. She says she wants to take care of him, but what she really wants is to take his estate.

Charlotte is played by another OFP familiar OFP actress – Richar Abel – who joined Monday’s dress rehearsal in the third scene of Act I because she had spent all day doing pre-Valentine’s Day prep in HyVee’s floral department.

Now to get that power of attorney, Charlotte must prove Doc is incompetent. So, enter a young by-the-book psychologist, played by Stevie Bethurem, and a shyster lawyer played by Matt Abel, and it might just happen.

Add to the mix a set of characters that have their own quirks – high school wanna-be Romeo and Juliet actors (played by Xandra Abel and Carter Kinnary); a friend, Maxine McAllister, who has found that fishing in a dry creek is better than therapy and a card-playing buddy, Elizabeth Clairborne (played by OFP mainstays Shelley Dowling and Karen Schumaker); and a high school English teacher that has the hots for the psychologist (played by Bronson Helt) – and there’s plenty of banter, puns and one-liners zingers to go around.

While the psychologist eventually comes to see that “normal” is overrated, it’s too late. Her discovery comes after she has already filed her report supporting Charlotte’s claim that Doc can’t take care of his own affairs.

While he said he would never step foot in a courtroom again, Doc has no choice, So, he shows up at the hearing dressed as a magician – appearing to play right into his daughter’s hands.

But much like any first impression of Doc, Charlotte’s belief is wrong and she has a lot to learn. Her father is dressing the part for a reason. He has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Under the direction of Carol Parson, the comedy opens Friday and continues Saturday, Sunday and Feb. 24-25. All show times are 7:30 p.m., except for Sunday which will be a 2 p.m. matinee.

Deanne St. Clair is the stage manager for this production. Set construction was done by Danny Henson and Lynn Parson.

Bob Britton will be handling the sound and lights. He also helped Carol Parson and Dennis Dowell with publicity while Trisha Eaves-Fedler handled tickets.

Cost of admission is $12 for adults and $8 for students 17 and under. Tickets are available at the door and by calling 372-9559.

“If The Good Lord’s Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise” is a two-act comedy written by renowned playwright Pat Cook.

The production is being sponsored by Scotts Miracle Gro and is presented by permission of Eldridge Publishing, Lancaster, Pa.