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'Sheddin'' enjoying strong run
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
August 01, 2012 10:21 AM | 1486 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, E. Roger Mitchell, LaParee Young and Thomas W. Jones II star in Horizon Theatre Company's production of Jones II's "Sheddin,'" which runs through Aug. 19.
From left, E. Roger Mitchell, LaParee Young and Thomas W. Jones II star in Horizon Theatre Company's production of Jones II's "Sheddin,'" which runs through Aug. 19.
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Horizon Theatre Company’s production of Thomas W. Jones II’s “Sheddin’” is quite the hot ticket, one worthy of keeping up with the temperatures as packed houses will attest.

The play, billed as "The Kings of Comedy" meet "The Cosbys," runs through Aug. 19.

Like Horizon’s other 2012 world-premiere, “Sheddin’” caught fire out of the gate and — thanks to standing ovations, word-of-mouth and conventional marketing — has managed to keep packing them in with regularity.

“The audience response has been overwhelming … they’ve been laughing in all of the right places and standing up,” said Jones. “One patron told me it was her favorite play in the last 10 years.”

The raucous comedy, set in an Atlanta backyard, centers on a generational clash set amid a musical backdrop. A doo-wop meets hip-hop collision is set into motion when patriarch Walt, played by Jones, and his jazz-loving co-horts attempt to scheme his way into becoming rap superstar son Trane’s opening act.

Compounding the resulting test of wills is Walt and wife Ruthie’s dismay at Trane’s own surprise — a Korean pop music hopeful fiancé.

“It’s really about reconciliation, not just with those around you but with your hopes, dreams and aspirations,” said Jones. “It’s about growing older and easier with yourself.”

The ensemble cast also features Donna Biscoe, Enoch King, LaParee Young, E. Roger Mitchell and Francesca McKenzie.

“Audiences are amazed at how natural and realistic the relationships are between the actors and the characters — it is like watching a group of old friends,” said Jennifer Bauer-Lyons, Horizon’s managing producer.

For the playwright, the project is a stellar follow-up to his 2009 hit “A Cool Drink a Water.”

“Our audience eagerly anticipates having a “Tom Jones” production in our season each summer … and this one has definitely lived up to the hype,” Bauer-Lyons said.

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