‘Penny’ shines for Greenville Community Theater audience

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What if all the various parts of a young woman’s psyche were a group of rather eccentric people living in her head who were quick to express their often warring opinions about life and love? That’s the amusing dilemma that faced our heroine Penny in Saturday night’s dinner theater production “Penny For Your Thoughts.”

Directed by Lori Neilson for the Greenville Community Theater, this comedy of misunderstood phone calls and miscommunication between Penny Ramsey (Hannah Styron) and her longtime boyfriend Matt Lane (T.J. Garrard) proved a real crowd-pleaser for the patrons.

Laughter was heard through the First United Methodist Church fellowship hall as Penny’s “inside out” friends, delightfully brought to life by fussy Gertrude (Harriett Foshee), hot-headed Jessica (Cierra Oswald), sensitive Adam (Joseph Longmire), flighty girly-girl Buffy (Jessica Bell) and brainy nerd Myrtle (Mollie Waters), bickered among themselves over just how Penny should react to the possibility Matt might be cheating on her and whether or not the dreamy Rick Winters (Leith Greene) is just a little too good to be true.

Both Matt and Rick work for the sometimes intimidating Mrs. Killian (Johnna Pitts) who just happens to be Penny’s protective mom, always ready to defend her baby girl. Add in Rick’s sister Darla (Michelle Styron) pretending to be Matt’s other girlfriend and it’s total confusion for the characters—and a comic delight for the audience.

We all know that the course of true love never did run smooth, but in the end, Penny and Matt are reunited (and engaged, much to the delight of the various factions of her ego) and she’s about to become–Penny Lane!  Strains of the Beatles hit wafted through the fellowship hall as the cast prepared for their curtain call.

Crewmembers for the production included stage manager Dent Neilson, music and sound effects man, Greig Foshee and Ronald Waters, who provided set design and construction. Clyde Mills served as costume designer and set artist.

Before the production, which earned its cast and crew a standing ovation, patrons enjoyed an equally applause-worthy meal prepared by BBQ 65 including tender, flavorful smoked chicken with sauce served on the side, a Mexican corn casserole, spicy cornbread, country-style green beans and for dessert, bread pudding with a cinnamon cream sauce.

Sound man Greig Foshee, who is also the husband of cast member Harriett Foshee, said the cast had worked long and hard putting it all together this summer and he was pleased with how smoothly the evening ran.

“Everybody really seemed to have a good time.”

Cast member Johnna Pitts, who is president of the GCT, was over the moon Saturday night after the show.

“I am extremely proud of our cast and crew for bringing another great show for the Greenville Community Theater. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from our audience for both the performance and the BBQ 65 smoked chicken dinner,” Pitts said.

“ I can’t tell you how great it feels to work so hard on something and then get the kind of applause we received Saturday night. We would really like to thank the staff of the Greenville First United Methodist Church and St. Thomas Episcopal Church for their support through the use of their facilities and members’ time contributions. We also appreciate Alabama Power, Greenville Walmart, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Camellia Girls, the McKenzie Cheerleaders, Ronald Waters, Greig Foshee and all of the others who lent their support to our latest dinner theater success. We hope this means there will be many more in the future.”