‘Fuddy Meers’ show has grandma under the sink


Photo by Laura Lango

Hilarity and confusion ensue during the opening weekend of “Fuddy Meers.”

By Laura Lango, Photographer

“Claire has a rare form of psychogenic amnesia that erases her memory whenever she goes to sleep. This morning, like all mornings, she wakes up a blank slate.” So begins the official show summary of “Fuddy Meers,” the spring’s theatrical production at EWU.

The show follows a day in the life of Claire, played by Hailey Gilbert in EWU’s production, as she attempts to “regain her memory while surrounded by a curio-cabinet of alarmingly bizarre characters”, including a foul-mouthed puppet, a deformed man in a ski mask and an old woman with a speech impediment.

The cast is significantly smaller than the two other main stage productions this year, “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “A Man of No Importance,” with only seven cast members and, according to director Jeffrey Sanders, the mood is significantly lighter as well.

“It’s spring, the sun’s out, you’ll laugh a lot. I think it’s the kind of play that our students in general will really like because it has a very contemporary edge to it,” said Sanders.

However, the show, which is written by David Lindsay-Abaire, is not all light-hearted humor. The show deals with domestic abuse, drugs, identity and disfigurement, often with as much humor as gut-wrenching irony.

“It’s surrounded by these zany, larger-than-life characters in some ways and then, on the turn of a dime, it switches on you and it’s very human and revealing. I think a lot of our audience is going to connect with it on many different levels,” said Sanders.

The smaller cast allows for a more intimate, intensified experience; although with each of the characters fluctuating between ridiculous and realistic, it can be difficult to keep up with the mood changes of the piece. However, the cast’s dexterity does them great credit, navigating between comedic and horrifying moments with skill. The entire play is built to be an unsettling, distorted reflection of reality and the humor is very biting. The ambiguous ending leaves the resolution up to the audience, allowing both the optimistic and pessimistic viewers to come to their own conclusions.

The production opened last weekend and will run through May 17. All shows start at 7:30 p.m., except the May 14 and May 17 matinees, which start at 5 p.m. and 2 p.m.. Tickets are free to students and can be picked up at the box office an hour before the show. Tickets for non-students are $10 and can be reserved through the box office.

As for other productions coming up at EWU’s mainstage, the spring is a busy time, with multiple senior capstone productions, including “Steel Magnolias” on May 29 and 30, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged,” on June 7, along with a staged reading of “Passing” on June 8 and a one-woman show on June 9. This summer, there is also a production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in collaboration with the Modern Theatre in downtown Spokane, showcasing both professional and student actors from EWU.