The last thing Larry Randolph wants people to think is that the drama series his company is putting on this month and next is only for old people.
“There’s nothing half baked about these,” says Randolph, one-third of the group behind One Thirty Productions, which is staging Wedding Belles Oct. 29-Nov. 15 at the Bath House Cultural Center. “These are professional looking productions, and we know how to put on a good piece of work.”
One Thirty bills itself as “Dallas' One and Only Matinee Series,” and its reason for being is to offer plays in the middle of the day for people who can’t –- or don’t want –- to go in the evening. It’s supported by the city’s office of cultural affairs for just that reason, and hence the idea that it would only be of interest to the elderly.
But the first season’s plays received pretty good reviews -– no less than the Observer’s Elaine Liner said of Opal’s Husband, which ran last spring: “This is fun stuff, performed lovingly by professional actors, and directed by Marty van Kleeck who has real respect for the target audience.”
Which is the point that Randolph and his One Thirty colleagues, van Kleeck included, are is trying to make. “All good comedies deal with a serious subject,” says Randolph, who taught theater at Texas Tech, was a long-time TV dialogue coach, and did the legendary Greater Tuna for three years. “You just have to find a subject and deal with it comedically.”
Which is apparently the case with the world premiere of Wedding Belles, written by Alan Bailey and Ronnie Claire Edwards of Walton’s fame (and East Dallas resident). Bailey will direct; the play focuses on a young couple about to get married before he leaves for World War II, and the advice the pair get from several character-rich townswomen.