According to my grandparents, our family credo should read: “Putting the fun in dysfunctional”. They obviously have a loose understanding of the term ‘dysfunctional’. Sure we have a few skeletons in the closet, but who doesn’t, right? Of course, then I read Fuddy Meers again, and comparatively, our family is downright saintly.
What strikes me most about this production is how frighteningly easy it’s been (seemingly for everyone) to jump onboard the crazy train and ride it to destination ludicrous. After all, Fuddy Meers is a lot of things, but at the core it’s still a reflection of damaged relationships within a broken family…with hysterical results! Don’t get me wrong, this play is very funny and will always have the potential to walk the thin line between heartfelt drama and flat out farce, but now that we’re in the thick of rehearsal, I was contemplating various actor-type-things when it hit me that this family is just about the most dysfunctional I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of. This crazy, probably certifiable family just has so much physical and emotional damage between everyone that it’s no wonder they are in the circumstance they’re in when we meet them.
We’re still learning more and more with each rehearsal about the depths of this dysfunction and more importantly, how this family has had to deal with it. In truth that’s part of the fun. Again though, it’s shockingly effortless to just let the dysfunction envelope these characters from one relationship to the next, and couple that with all the lies and deceit and violence and…well friends…you’ve got a laugh-out-loud comedy on your hands! Really, this play could get so dark so fast but part of the genius is that we can laugh at the ridiculous choices these people make and hold absolutely unwaveringly steadfast to…in true dysfunctional form.
By Andrew Marchetti
Playing The Limping Man in Fuddy Meers