Sharing The Love

Claiming love as a four-letter word, Tin Building Theatre spring show “Funny Little Thing Called Love” delivers loads of laughter at the Bosque Arts Center

CLIFTON – Just as the language of love is universal, so is the language of laughter.

In four performances of the Jones, Hope and Wooten comedy “Funny Little Thing Called Love,” the Bosque Arts Center’s Tin Building Theater brought love in its funniest form to the stage for audiences to enjoy, and forget life’s trials and tribulations for a while.

Whether in San Francisco to Dallas to Waikiki to London and New York, a spectacular romantic full moon connected five humorous love story vignettes, with funny twists and turns along the way. And by the time the play was over and the moon and TBT cast worked their magic, love and laughter conquered all in the audience.

The TBT cast was able to showcase their versatility on the stage, and their skill at doing crazy costume and wig changes backstage; bringing a complete new set of characters to the stage with every single sketch. Each scene gave one or more actors the opportunity to bask in the magical moonshine and get the audience laughing out loud.

In “Love is on the Air,” news broadcasters Connie Terry and Kevin King get caught up in the moon’s magic and throw professionality out of the window as their passion takes over on the air.

Terry already “strutted her stuff” in theater throughout school; and after a hiatus, she once again succumbed to her love of the stage in 1981. Since then, she’s shone in the BAC Variety show and several TBT productions. Besides the acting, she loves the friendships created over the years with her other TBT actors.

King showed his mettle in his premier on the TBT stage, and to acting in general. Back in 2019, he fulfilled a long-life dream to act with some Waco Civic Theatre roles. He’s thrilled to bring his talents home to the community where he and his wife Jill lived for the past five years.

Michael Richardson shares his mother Connie’s love for the stage. The stage fever sparked when he was a dancing peppermint stick in kindergarten’s Nutcracker. Throughout high school he performed in numerous plays, and studied film and television at Texas State Technical College. Besides his job as marketing manager at Hillsboro’s Brookshires, he tinkers on cars, doodles in a sketch book or is fishing.

In the skit called “The Lone Star Ladies’ Justice League,” Richardson convincingly played a less-than-loyal but charming Dallas car salesman A.J. who gets caught between his three piqued paramours and an irate mother, who lays some tough love on him.

The scene introduced newcomer to the TBT stage, Kassidy Cardona – a self-professed theatre-obsessed postal clerk. With over thirty shows under her belt and education in Musical Theatre, it was clear she does not shy away from the limelight. Her stage presence became less prominent when she started her family, but she is back. Her husband, three kids, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephews were in the audience to cheer her on.

“I am over the moon to be able to join this cast and to find such a wonderful theatre community right down the road from home,” she said.

Over at the Clifton Elementary School, Cardona puts her theatre background to good use as regular stage manager for the school’s annual fifth grade musical.

Also in the role of a woman scorned was newcomer Debbie Roberts. Initially, Roberts thought she would just help out backstage. But when a cast member had to leave the production, director Don Boysen called upon her to pick up the role. With just two weeks of preparation instead of the normal three months to learn lines, Roberts – with help of her fellow cast members – did an admirable job. Roberts found community theatre in Tyler after she graduated, both backstage as in front of an audience.

Summer Bekkelund played the third victim to Richardson’s womanizing ways. Involved in theatre in some way or other since high school, starting in University Interscholastic League One Act Play and in the TBT children’s production back in 1997, Bekkelund is no stranger to the theatre. She starred several times in the BAC scholarship fundraiser Variety Show and in the TBT “Bad Medicine” production. Her roles in the subsequent vignette’s “A Little Brit of Romance” and “Upper West Side Story” required some challenging British and French accents, which she pulled off splendidly.

“Honolulu of a Honeymoon” brought Terry and King together again; this time a newly-wed at a Waikiki beach hotel. The scene introduces Charles McLean as Porter, who decides the time is right to profess his love for Carlene.

McLean traded a high-tech career in Dallas for the rolling hills of Norse, and becoming Clifton’s city administrator. His postmaster, TBT veteran Bryan Davis, introduced him to the TBT stage, back in 2009. McLean worked backstage and in the stage spotlight for different TBT productions.

In “A little Brit of Romance,” McLean shows up on a rooftop London bistro hoping to recapture his renegade girlfriend’s heart again. Veteran of the stage Jo Grelle stole that scene with her impersonation of a geriatric, sloth-slow server with hidden singing aspirations.

Part of the TBT community since 1996, Grelle starred in many productions, and served as stage manager and costume designer for many more. Her granddaughter Lilly – a budding thespian – came up from Austin with her dad Steven to admire grandma’s acting abilities.

And finally, “Upper Side West Story” brings the whole cast together again. Hanging onto his youth desperately like his sock garters, King played Stan, hurriedly trying to set the scene for a Manhattan proposal to his much younger love interest. Mayhem ensues with a fainting French caterer, a botched singing telegram, a superhero on the building’s ledge trying to get away from a weird party, a love-sick medic and the entrance of his ex-wife. With his classy bowtie and cummerbund, King honored his parents’ and their haberdashery business. They formed a humorful contrast to the Disney-themed boxer shorts.

For this play, the cast and directors Boysen and Debbie Rollins spent around 800 hours in rehearsal on top of time building sets, design and create the venue’s table decorations, programming light and sound boards, putting together a moon-inspired playlist between scenes, arranging catering, procuring costumes and wigs and the hundreds of other details surrounding a theatre production.

“Why do we do it?” Boysen asked. “It’s the thrill of taking a seemingly impossible challenge, and whittling away until we conquer it.”

And finally, after all that hard work, hearing the laughter, the snickers, seeing the smiles and experiencing the applause, and personal congratulations after the show from friends, family and coworkers alike makes it all worthwhile, and then some.


©2023 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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