by Lorie Lewis Ham
This past weekend the musical comedy Super Fanny opened at the Reedley Opera House in downtown Reedley, presented by Reedley’s River City Theatre Company. If you are looking for a show that will make you laugh, this is the show to see. It is an original show written and directed by Mark Norwood. His writing partner Darrell Devaurs wrote the music.
This the sixth title in the Blossoms Up series of shows featuring the character of Fanny Feastyoureyes, played by Matt Wiebe. In Super Fanny, Fanny inherits 49 percent of a local football team. After a disagreement with the other owner, Beauregard Noregard played by Mark, about how character and sportsmanship are more important than winning, she ends up being forced to take her 49 percent of the players and form her own team, the Plumnuts Pachyderms.
This show is filled with hilarity from beginning to end, much of it due to the fact that several of the actors play not only the football players, but also the cheerleaders: Michael Angel, Chris Giese, Robert Beck, Tommy Hill and Jeff Lusk. Matt Wiebe does such a wonderful job of playing Fanny that you almost forget she is really a man playing a woman—you really come to love this character and “she” is so funny. The audience participation in this show is an added bonus—the night I saw the show those picked out of the audience played along so well one would almost think they were plants, but they aren’t.
Steve Jones is back as Fiona Feastyoureyes and this time she is a cheerleading coach who acts more like a drill sergeant. This character is a real crowd favorite and was a definite favorite of my husband and son, who saw the show this weekend as well. One of the funniest songs in the show is “She’s Not A Hottie Anymore”; it will have you rolling in the aisles. Other cast members include Stacie Hall, Sarah Wiebe, Jessica Ham, James Clark, Tanimin Clark, Kishma Morales, Don Applegate and Brian Lange.
The local tie ins, original story and music, the play on words, crazy names, Fanny just being her flirty self, audience participation and men playing women, all come together in this clever and incredibly funny show that should not be missed. Even though I hate football, I loved this show. It’s a unique theatre experience to see a Fanny show, so don’t miss out.
Mark, who is also the River City Artistic Director, is already working on next year’s Fanny show. As to how he comes up with ideas for each show he stated that he honestly has no clue. “I have no idea where the Super Fanny idea or any of them come from. I do like to look for fun ways to use the guys to girls and back again concept so football to cheerleader appealed to me. I am working on next year’s show Fanny Wins the West where we will feature miners/cowboys and saloon girls.”
To learn the interesting story of how the first Fanny show came to be, check out the KRL article How Fanny Came to Life . With each show Mark hopes to raise the bar so I can’t wait to see what the next one is like.
Super Fanny runs through March 13. For more information, check out the River City Theatre page here at KRL.
Mark has also returned to his position as Theatre Arts Coordinator with Kings Canyon Unified School District and they are currently in rehearsals for Annie at Reedley High School, with performances on March 25, 26, 27 and April 1,2,3. Watch for an article on this show in KRL next month.