The Perry Players are bringing a groundbreaking television show to life as they perform All in the Family, opening Friday.
Stuart Appleton, director of the play, explained that the play is actually three separate episodes using original scripts from All in the Family. Each half-hour television show will be performed as an act of the overall play; with an 1970s era commercial in between.
We really wanted to re-create the feel of that time period and provide some nostalgia for the audience, Appleton said.
The commercial time also will include news promos for the upcoming 11 p.m. news using events from the time period such as Watergate and Vietnam.
It will be a full experience for the audience from the moment that they arrive, Appleton said.
All in the Family told the story of the Bunker family, Archie, Edith, daughter Gloria and son-in-law Mike -- regularly called Meathead by Archie.
The three episodes that will be performed will be Gloria in the nude -- where Gloria considers posing for an artist friend; Archie and the computer -- where the VA computer declares Archie deceased; and Archie in the hospital -- where Archie is admitted to the hospital and his roommate is black.
These are very familiar characters, Appleton said. It is a unique experience to see this show since it will be very much like the live performance done in Television City where the show was taped before a live audience.
Archie will be played by Jeff Lintz; Edith by Suzanne Webb; Mike by Charles Rodriquez and Gloria by Christina Pykles. Many of the familiar recurring characters from the show, such as Lionel and Louise Jefferson, also will make appearances.
While the show was set in the 1970s, Appleton says that the issues All in the Family spoke to during that time period are still very relevant today.
Take Archie and the computer. That was an episode about what happens when technology goes wrong. They were talking about it in 1972 and we are still talking about it.
The show broke new ground and tackled issues of the day; but those issues are not isolated to the 1970s. Some of the references will be -- President Nixon or computers the size of a room -- but the issues are very much the same.
While Appleton advised his cast to watch episodes of the show, he specifically asked them not to watch the three episodes that will be performed.
The audience will have certain expectations, what the house looks like for instance, but I dont want to mimic Norman Lear or Carroll OConnor. We want it to be our own, capturing the rhythm of the characters without copy-catting, he said.
All in the Family
When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28; 2:30 p.m. Sept. 15 and 22
Where: Perry Players Community Theatre, 909 Main St., Perry
Cost: $15 adults; $12 seniors, military, students and children
Information: www.perryplayers.org, 478-987-5354