Theres not a single gay character onstage in the latest play by Sordid Lives writer Del Shores. But the forced estrangement from her gay son gives main character Willadean Winkler (Cindee Mayfield) the motivation to ditch her abusive husband, break out of her dreary trailer park life and get a job as a Walmart greeter. If she can save a little money, she can move closer to the son her husband J.D. (T.A. Taylor) cut off communication with after the kid came out. Mostly a comedy, this latest at the Uptown Players plays the blue-collar comedy broadly and loudly, like a two-hour episode of My Name Is Earl. When the brief second act gets serious and preachy, its easy to forgive, given the stress-relieving laughs that precede it. Director Cheryl Denson helps Shores script (which could be cut by a good 30 minutes) by casting wisely and giving her actors time to create real chemistry. Mayfield is heartbreaking as the beat-down Willadean. Her best friend, played well by Laura Warner, is the voice of reason, with a tongue as sharp as a viper. When five-times-married cocktail waitress Rayleen (Melissa Jobe) makes moves on Willadeans husband, all hell breaks loose. Jobe gives a fearless and funny performance that also hints at the characters self-loathing. Through March 15 at KD Studio Theatre, 2600 N. Stemmons Freeway (at Medical District Drive). 214-219-2718.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Feb. 26. Continues through March 15, 2009