The setting will be a hot, steamy Christmas Eve in French Guiana when the curtain opens Nov. 4 for the Richland Players holiday comedy, My Three Angels.
The angels are a motley crew of two murderers and a con man who aren't really dead, but do end up behaving like guardian angels instead of the bad guys that landed them in prison.
The cons are Joseph, played by Robert Chisholm; Jules, played by Paul Roy; and Alfred, played by Jerry Bush.
Because they're on Devil's Island with no place to run, they're allowed work release. That half-hearted freedom gives them the opportunity to do some good in their lives, like helping bring two young lovers together despite the schemes of a scroogemeister named Henri, played by Kevin Nettleton.
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"My character is a successful, albeit morally vacant, person," Nettleton said. "(Henri) manages to bilk his own cousin out of this shop. It's a great story because angels and justice come together in unique form."
The bilked shop owner, Felix, is played by Jim Salaba. His wife is played by Elona Benefiel and their daughter, Marie Louise, is played by Amy Lynne Darling.
"This is a very well-written play, entertaining, fun with the holiday spirit," Roy said. "It examines some real human nature characteristics."
Even the show's costumer, Linda Barr, had some thoughts about the strange turn of events of the play's theme.
"I never would have considered three angels being described as murderers and a con man, but they are in their own strange way," she said.
My Three Angels was written by Samuel and Bella Spewack and is based on French play La Cuisine Des Anges, written by Albert Husson. Angels opened on Broadway in 1953 and closed about a year later.
Barbara Wilson, who portrays Madam Parole, finds the screenwriters' story hilarious.
"I love the authors' writing," she said.
It's been a while since Jerry Bush has graced a Tri-City stage.
"I took about four years off due to some very difficult personal problems," Bush said. He moved to Texas, lost his father, then ended up back in the Tri-Cities. "But I got my head on straight now," he added.
His role as a murderer-turned-guardian-angel was a challenging one. "It's not a heavy line load, but I spend a lot of time on stage," Bush said. "It's a great cast, though."
Performances are at 8 p.m. Nov. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19 with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 13. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. The play has no strong language or sexual content and is recommended for ages 12 and older.
Tickets are available at the Players box office or at www.richlandplayers.org. For more information, call 943-1991.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org