How about a little laughter to kick off 2013. The Richland Players have just the ticket to tickle the funny bone with the production of Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, opening Jan. 11 at The Players Theatre in Richland.
It's a funny tale of love, redemption and the best and worst of polite and irreverent society, written by playwright Mitch Albom, who also authored Tuesdays With Morrie.
"The first time I read (the script) Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, I fell in love with its possibilities and the opportunities it held for Richland Players," said Christina Humann, who co-directs the play with her husband, Mark. "I knew it was a show we, as an organization, could excel in producing."
The story centers around Sandy, played by Rob Chisholm. He's a cynical tabloid reporter who sacrificed love and personal integrity to pursue his dream of becoming a respected journalist -- and failed miserably. Now he's stuck writing fluff for the Weekly World and Globe publications, which are tabloids considered worse than the National Enquirer.
Sandy and his reluctant photographer, played by E.J. Brewer, are sent to rural Alabama to check out a story of two bumbling brothers Duane and Duwell, played by Michael and Dylan Piper, who claim they accidentally shot an angel while duck hunting.
As Sandy digs into the brothers' story, he's forced to deal with his own prejudices, especially when he finds more plausibility than he thought of the tale of the angel.
The comedy also has a little bit of drama, a hint of a love story, some mystery and an absurd half-man, half-alligator character, Christina Humann said.
"Our audience will adore it, and it has the potential to attract new playgoers, as well," she said. "It is literally a play that has something for everyone. Even the most reluctant of audience members will find it difficult not to laugh their way through this show."
Mark Humann said the play has its share of challenges as well, from the set to the alligator costume to lighting.
"This isn't the run-of-the-mill easy set and lights-up/lights-down type of show," he said. "But we've had opportunities to be creative.
"My favorite elements of this show are the real-to-life characters. It shows a full spectrum of personalities and life situations and is written so well it is comedic at the same time as being heartfelt and true."
And even with all that humor and the real-life situations, the play has a message and a twist at the end that may leave the audience with something to ponder, the directors said.
Curtain time is 8 p.m. Jan. 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26 with 2 p.m. matinees Jan. 20 and 27. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors and are available at the Players Theatre box office.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org