Playhouse prods life and death

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comJanuary 3, 2013 

— Playhouse Merced will treat audiences to a night filled with laughter in their upcoming production of "Dearly Departed," a two-act comedy about an eccentric Southern family.

"The show features members of the Turpin family and their friends -- all the characters are very quirky and have distinctive idiosyncrasies," said Jim Kocher, communication director at Playhouse Merced.

"It's one of those shows that you can come in and forget about your worries and have a series of good belly-laughs throughout the two hours," he said.

The play follows the dysfunctional family who gather together for the funeral of the patriarch, Bud Turpin, played by longtime Merced actor Dave Elam.

After his death, the Turpins turn for comfort to their friends and neighbors, a community of misfits who just manage to pull themselves together and help each other through their hours of need.

Kocher said the production is presented in a "very theatrical" way, using the intimate Merced County Arts Council black box theatre.

Although it's sure to provide lots of laughs, Kocher said parental discretion is advised, as the play may not be suited for younger children.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or

'Dearly Departed'

WHEN: Jan. 11-20

WHERE: Playhouse Merced, 452 W. Main St.

TICKETS: Adults: $20; seniors: $19; students: $10; children: $8

CALL: (209) 725-8587

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