‘Fuddy Meers’ – A darkly comic look at memory loss
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado -Every day is a blank slate when Claire gets up in the morning.
Claire suffers from a rare form of psychogenic amnesia that erases her memory every time she goes to sleep. Her husband, Richard, tries to compensate by providing her with a book he’s created that gives her all the information she needs to know before he goes to work.
This is the start of the story line for “Fuddy Meers,” an off-beat adult comedy by David Lindsay-Abaire. The show opens tonight at the old Cardiff School House in Glenwood Springs and is presented by Camp Chair Productions.
“It’s a modern comedy, for mature audiences because of the language, that is very interesting and almost bizarre,” said Bob Willey, co-director, producer of the play and one of the actors. “It’s modern, absurd, off-beat and very good comedy.”
The play revolves around a single day in Claire’s life with several vignettes that take place throughout the day.
“Claire has had a trauma in her life that causes her to have amnesia, and every morning she doesn’t know who she is or where she is,” said Cindy Hines of Glenwood Springs, who plays Claire. “Her husband brings her coffee each morning and a notebook that tells her information she needs to know in order to function and the layout of the house. It’s a black comedy, laughing about what would normally be a very serious situation.”
Hines, a graduate of Glenwood Springs High School and Colorado Mountain College, has been involved in theater productions in the valley for 30 years. She also is a member of the Thunder River Theatre Company and will start acting with the Aspen Stage Company next month.
“I’ve been acting since I was in junior high. Bob [Willey] and I worked together when he cast me in a play when I was a senior in high school,” Hines said. “This is just something I’ve always been interested in.”
When not acting, Hines is the executive director of the Frontier Historical Society Museum and a board member of Glenwood’s Downtown Market.
Fuddy Meers also features Limping Man, played by Jack Green, founder of Camp Chair Productions and co-director with Willey. The character is a limping, lisping, half-blind, half-deaf man in a ski mask who pops out from under Claire’s bed and claims to be her brother who is going to save her.
The day goes on when Claire is whisked away to her mother’s country house. Her mother, who has recently suffered a stroke, speaks in utter gibberish. The day gets even more complicated when Millet, a dimwitted thug with a foul-mouthed hand puppet, pops up at a window, and when Claire’s husband and their perpetually stoned son, Kenny, show up with a claustrophobic lady cop that they’ve kidnapped.
It’s one harrowing and hilarious turn after another on this roller coaster ride through the day of an amnesiac, trying to decipher her fractured life and attempting to regain her memory while surrounded by a group of alarmingly bizarre characters.
The play features seven well-known local actors. Along with Hines and Green, Mike Banks plays Richard, Nick Garay plays Kenny, Chip Winn Wells plays Gertie and Cassidy Willey plays Heidi the cop.
Banks has been performing in the valley for more than 25 years. He was last seen as Charlie in “All in the Timing,” with Colorado Mountain College.
Garay recently became the first CMC graduate to receive an associate in arts degree in theater. This is his third show with Camp Chair Productions, following on this summer’s production of “Barefoot in the Park.”
Wells moved to Glenwood Springs from Chicago 30 years ago after obtaining a degree in theater and a master’s in education from the University of Illinois. Wells has worked as an educator, coach and theatre professional throughout Colorado.
Cassidy Willey has been performing in the valley since before she could walk, and is a Defiance Kid and veteran of Dancers Dancing. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010. This is her third show with Camp Chair Productions. She intends to enroll in the CMC theater program this fall.
Camp Chair Productions, started by Green in 2009 and then joined in by Willey – both longtime theater activists in the valley – began hosting productions at the Historic Cardiff School House in south Glenwood Springs in April 2010. They have since produced a half dozen plays, 25 to 30 musical concerts and two summers of art classes for kids.
“Our mission statement in 2011 is to create laughter,” Willey said. “We tend to lean towards humor.”
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