“If you enjoyed this evening’s performance, tell your friends. If you hated it, tell your enemies,” director Konrad Winters quipped before the start of the play.
Held in Goode Theatre on Feb. 21, the small and intimate set seating 150 at the most, was designed in southern decor with vintage wallpaper and furniture.
The play opened with character Carnelle Scott, played by Lucy Bonino, rehearsing her patriotic tap routine to the Star Spangled Banner. The plot follows 24-year-old Carnelle Scott, a Southern orphan living in Brookhaven, as she navigates her way to the very end of the Miss Firecracker Contest with the help of her family and friends.
“Miss Carnelle Scott, she is trying to be a beauty queen with a very soiled reputation. She’s like, the town slut,” lead actress, Bonino, said. “She’s really optimistic and energetic about winning it and… it kind of just blows up in her face, big time.”
Popeye Jackson, played by Courtney Cook, is a good friend of Carnelle and helps her prepare for the competition. There is then Elain Rutledge, played by Maeghan Pardy, Carnelle’s selfish, vain cousin who is also a former Miss Firecracker. Elain comes back to her hometown after leaving her wealthy husband, two children and brother and Carnelle’s cousin, Delmount Williams, who was just released from a mental institution, who is played by Jeffrey Musselman.
“I didn’t think I was going to be casted,” Bonino said, “but I’m really glad that I was.” Bonino is a junior acting major at ODU. She said she was selected for the role after a series of cold readings.
“She gets really excited, like when she’s interested in something, she gets really excited about it and she goes all out for it and she’s crushed when it doesn’t happen. I see myself in that aspect, but not specifics. The things she would be interested in, I wouldn’t be interested in,” said Bonino when asked how her and her character, Carnelle, were similar.
“The Miss Firecracker Contest” is the first production of the Goode Theater’s spring season. Performances will continue to be held at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 1 and 2. The Goode Theatre is located at 4608 Monarch Way in ODU’s University Village. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.oduartstix.com or by calling the box office at 683-5305.
By: Nephthalie Lauture