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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Back from the dead

Posted June 23, 2008 9:28 a.m. EDT

I went on vacation and died. Did you miss me?

I played the mean and surly Bud Turpin in the play "Dearly Departed" at Raleigh's Theatre in the Park Sunday. My one time cameo role was to die at the start of the play and then assume a seat in the audience and enjoy the rest of the show as my true self.

What a wonderful production! The show is a hilarious spoof on Southern families and religion. “Dearly Departed” has been described as the confluence of Hee Haw and The Andy Griffith Show. Lots of great laughs. You should check it out if you can get a ticket. Performances are scheduled Friday night and Sunday afternoon at the theatre on Pullen Road in Raleigh near NC State University.

Frances Stanley was sensational as the sanctimonius Aunt Marguerite. She was perfect for the part. The other cast members were also terrific. Hats off to the versatile and rib tickling team of Janis Coville, Bob Harris, Phil Crone, Meg Dietrich, Jeffrey Nugent, Larry Evans, Kelly McConkey, Leanne Norton-Heintz and Margo Schuler.

I would like to thank Theatre in the Park director Ira David Wood for the invitation. I had a great time.

Today's question: what is your favorite theatrical performance? Please discuss.