The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

September 17, 2013

Palestine Community Theatre serving up ‘The Red Velvet Cake War'

PALESTINE — You can have your cake and eat it too.  

During the first two weekends in October, the Palestine Community Theatre is serving up comedy Texas-style live at the historic Texas Theater in downtown Palestine.  

This year’s fall production is “The Red Velvet Cake War” written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten and directed by Dana Goolsby with assistance from James Vincill. The play is sponsored by Bodi Service and the Anderson County Rednecks.

“This is an East Texas based comedy sure to remind you of someone you know or even your own family,” Goolsby said. “You will find yourself chuckling at the characters who seem as real as you and I and cackling at all of their hilarious antics.”

Goolsby is thrilled by the creativity and drive of the cast she has assembled for her inaugural effort in directing for the PCT.

“It is a privilege to direct some of PCT’s finest actresses and actor in this comedy at the Texas Theatre,” she said. “The cast loves to laugh as much as I do, which has made for a lot of fun rehearsals and volunteer hours well spent.”

The play revolves around the three Verdeen cousins — Gaynelle (Dixie Dorsett), Peaches (Dr. Jan Sikes) and Jimmie Wyvette (Sandy Webb) — who are struggling to find their way. Middle age is approaching and dealing with life’s expected and unexpected changes, both manmade and natural, is proving difficult. They couldn’t have picked a worse time to plan a family reunion.

Gaynelle is one frazzled nerve away from a spectacular meltdown having “accidentally” crashed her mini van through the bedroom wall of her husband’s girlfriend’s doublewide.  

Peaches, a saucy firebrand and the No. 1 mortuary cosmetologist in the tri-county area, is trying to decide if it’s time to have her long absent trucker husband declared dead.  

And Jimmie Wyvette, the rough-around-the-edges store manager of Whatley’s Western Wear, is resorting to extreme measures to outmaneuver Gaynelle’s priss-pot neighbor Bitsy Hargis (Terri Warren) for the affections of Sweetgum’s newest widower.

Over the years the trio’s outrageous antics have delighted local gossips in their small town. The cousins’ current predicaments prove no exception to the rule much to the horror of their self-righteous Aunt La Merle (Carol Moore) and to the amusement of their great-uncle Aubrey (Doug Smith).  

Gaynelle’s troubles only multiply with the appearances of best friend Cee Cee Windham (Cassie Severn), one-eyed suitor Newt Blaylock (Gerry Goodwin), Sheriff Grover Lout (Jim Vincill), amateur photographer Cousin Purvis (Olivia Santone) and forgetful Mama Doll (Billie Dyer).  

But the cousins can’t back out of the reunion now. It’s on and Gaynelle’s hosting it.  

Peaches and Jimmie Wyvette have decided its success is the perfect way to prove Gaynelle’s sanity to the skeptical court-appointed psychologist Elsa Dowdall (Kathrine Newton).  

Unfortunately, they face an uphill battle as this parade of wildly eccentric relatives, friends, and acquaintances converge at Gaynelle’s home on the hottest day of July with a tornado looming on the horizon and the outcome of a jaw-dropping high-stakes wager on who bakes the best red velvet cake hanging in the balance.  

Show dates for this fast-paced play are Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 11-13. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoon matinees start at 2 p.m. Doors will open for the traditional opening night gala featuring wine and hors d’oeuvers at 6:30 p.m.

Show sponsors include Bodi Services and Anderson County Roughnecks.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children and students ages 4-18. Tickets may be purchased at the Dogwood Diner, Education Unlimited, the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce, Sears in Palestine and online at

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