Just Our Luck
Cape Fear Playhouse
613 Castle Street
8/18-21, 25-28, 8 p.m.
$12 (910) 471-5690
Siblings often have unique dynamics. Like finger prints, no two relationships are alike. However, sometimes the roles they play in each other’s lives change, whether welcome or not. There’s often love, heartbreak, humiliation, confusion—the usual stuff. (I’ll admit: I often feel lucky being a one-man show when I hear some of the horror stories of sibling relationships.)
ByChance Productions presents all of the above in “Just Our Luck,” an original romantic comedy—err romedy—about three siblings whose lives and relationships have been flipped, turned and tried by tragedy. After their parents die, the oldest brother Austin assumes the role of the father figure, banding with middle child Noah to raise their 17-year-old sister, June. Soon, the love lives of these three siblings interconnect.
Austin is engaged to Vicky the bridezilla, controlling every aspect of their ceremony while the wedding planner, Maggie, shakes the mix. Noah’s girlfriend Donna walks out on their three-year relationship without explanation. And June—well, she has her new ever-rotating weekly crush; however, this time her completely inappropriate feelings make matters worse for her older brothers.
“Just Our Luck” was conceptualized by local playwright Tony Moore, a veteran of theater since age 14. His first play in high school, as Mr. DePinna in “You Can’t Take it With You,” gave Moore the impetus to take on acting, eventually leading him to Big Dawg Productions in 2000 to act in “Heathens.” In 2001, he decided to try producing theater on his own accord. With a good friend, he produced his original play “Just the Way You Are” in 2002 under the guise Shoestring Productions. They changed it to ByChance Productions shortly after and have been running under the name ever since.
“When I first started, I was fairly new to town,” Moore recalls, “so I had to do so much on my own. I wrote most of the shows, directed them, acted in them, did the tech for them, and handled the producing duties. It was a daunting task and very difficult to handle at times. But I believed in what we were doing so much that I didn’t care.”
Now in their 10th season, having done one-acts, comedies, dramas, murder mysteries and romedies, Moore is doing something, well, sort-of new: producing a play previously done. “My technical director and I decided that instead of [doing] a new work for this season, we wanted to take something we had already done, rework it, edit it and re-present it,” Moore explains—“to show how far we have come creatively since we started.”
“Just Our Luck” happened to be one of Moore’s favorites. Thus, it was a no-brainer to bring the play back. “The only difference now is that I am playing the older brother instead of the younger brother,” he says, “and we have a whole new cast and a different director.”
The new direction is led by Audrey McCrummen, who first started with ByChance in 2004, doing the lighting for “Party in the Boondocks.” She has adorned many hats since.
“In the seven years that I’ve been with ByChance Productions I have really felt the most rewarded,” she claims. “[It] has allowed me to grow as a person, technician and director.”
In fact, McCrummen’s second show with ByChance, a short six years ago, was “Just Our Luck.” “I adore [the play,]” she divulges. “When I was 17, I was definitely June, the 17-year-old naïve sister. Now, I can only relate to the emotions we see from Austin, Donna, Maggie and Noah.”
This year’s production marks McCrummen’s third show as a director, a role she’s played well, getting to know the actors and realizing how art truly does imitate life. “It’s very difficult for actors to act natural while being someone else,” she says, “because it feels unnatural. The biggest obstacle in directing is getting the them to realize that the show is a day in the life of people no different from themselves—and the way to portray the characters is to almost be themselves and speak to one another.”
“Just Our Luck” reprises a host of fun characters at the Cape Fear Playhouse on Thursday, August 18th, and runs through weekends until August 28th. The shows start at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $12. The material is suggested for ages teen and up. For more information and seating, call 910-471-5690.