Last year C. Stefan Morrisette had audiences in tears with the tale of “Magnolia.”
This year, he might make you cry again, but only because you are laughing so hard, it brings you to tears.
This weekend the South Baldwin Community Theatre presents, “Places,” a romp through the backstage drama and hilarity of a small-town stage production.
Here, you will meet the cast of characters that Morrisette said can be found in virtually any show, anywhere: the older, Shakespearean actor who thinks he always knows best, the neurotic director, the put-upon stage manager, the heartthrob and the young, bubbly actress who wants to be on stage always and forever.
The show uses much of the situational and physical comedy that Morrisette was influenced by as a youngster watching shows like the Carol Burnett Show.
“This is the polar opposite of “Magnolia,” he said. “This was inspired by the live, television extravaganzas of the 60’s but set in modern day. It’s tongue-in-cheek with Vaudevillian gags laced throughout but still relevant today.”
Director Cynthia Mayo said part of what makes the show hilarious is recognizing yourself and your friends in the characters, and, they are truly funny.
“We are on week six and every time I bust out laughing,” Mayo said. “I think that’s what’s so exciting about this play. It’s just so fun.”
“Places” was written about nine years ago, shortly after Morrisette finished drafting “Magnolia.” It has been rewritten over the years to change references to technology and popular culture. Mayo said the success of the previous show is bolstering the interest in “Places.”
“When we ask people if they saw “Magnolia” and tell them it is the same author they are excited,” she said. “So it’s been easy to publicize this show based on the success of that one.’
Since this is “Places” debut performance, Morrisette stays close to the rehearsals, lightly massaging characters as they are developed.
Currently he is working on several more productions and in talks with other theatres to bring “Magnolia” on the road. South Baldwin Community Theatre, however, will always be his home.
“I would love it if this theatre was always where I first presented my pieces and then took them out to other places. This is where my roots are,” he said.