How can a road trip from Winterset to Mount Union end up in Kansas? In "Leaving Iowa" the trip takes a long, winding journey through past memories of family car trips and sometimes disastrous vacations, all in an effort to allow Don Browning to deposit his father's ashes in an appropriate location.
The comedy written by Tim Clue and Spike Manton opened Tuesday night at Okoboji Summer Theatre to an appreciative audience.
Don is played brilliantly by Dru Silva. He has pages and pages of lines in this comedy and is both the young boy and grown man. A huge bravo to Dru on an outstanding performance.
Janice Goldberg made her own trip … from New York City to Okoboji … to direct this play. She captured the simple, directness that makes us Iowans unique. Thank you Janice.
Sicily Mathenia portrayed Mom. While she is actually a Stephens College student, Sicily had to play a role that was approximately 15 years more mature. She carried it well.
We theatre regulars are always glad to see Rob Doyen on the OST stage. As Dad, Rob drove us nuts with his driving skills and weird ideas of what a vacation should be. He was very funny.
Lauren Douglas garnered the role of the sister. Sis was a spoiled, whiny brat and Lauren pulled it off extremely well. I really wanted to spank her on several occasions.
Winona Wiley and Andrew Stachurski play many roles as the memories are acted out. Not only were there many characters, they had to accomplish some really fast costume changes. They did it!
Stachurski is the scene-stealer of the show. He is totally hilarious as the one-handed farmer, Civil War soldier, coffee-pouring waiter in the diner, etc. Every time he came on stage, the audience began to chuckle. He even got a round of applause when he exited one scene.
The set design by Nathan Lee was masterfully simple. I believe those corn stalks were the most under-nourished I have ever seen!
Three large screens were suspended from the ceiling, allowing the audience to take the trip along with the Browning family. It was a very effective way to transition our minds to a new location and added greatly to the enjoyment of the show.
"Leaving Iowa" was very funny while causing us to pause and reflect on our own family bonding moments. Thank you to the cast and crew for a job very well done. The show continues through Sunday night, June 24. The Saturday matinee at 4:30 is sold out. The phone number for the OST box office is 712-332-7773. For a relaxing evening filled with laughter, I recommend seeing "Leaving Iowa."