Enquirer Herald

Yorkville Players present local playwright's 'Grandest Canyon'

YORK -- When people watch "The Grandest Canyon," they'll probably laugh at the string of truth in it, says director Doug Algire.

"It's a slice of life from South Carolina," Algire said. "There are a lot of things people can identify with."

The Yorkville Players will present, "The Grandest Canyon," an original comedy by Pineville playwright Burton Bumgarner, today through Sunday.

The story centers around the efforts of Isabelle and Imogene to fulfill their triplet sister's dying wish of having her ashes spread over the Grand Canyon.

The elderly sisters have never before ventured out of South Carolina prior to their sister's death, but with the help a long-lost nephew in mid-life crisis and Leigh Ann, a young neighbor who was practically raised by the elderly triplets, they successfully make the journey.

While toting their sister's ashes, they meet some unusual people -- everyone from a crooked mechanic to a cross-dresser named Barbie who saves the day in New Orleans -- and learn more about each other. The elderly women also learn about converter boxes, margaritas and how much trouble an urn of ashes can be.

Of all the plays he's written, Bumgarner said this is his favorite.

"Two of the characters are very Southern, but the nephew is from New Jersey, so we kind of have a culture clash," he said. "(The sisters) grew up very Southern Baptist and he grew up Catholic."

While there are many funny parts, there's also serious, sweet stuff, Bumgarner said.

"I think they (the audience) enjoy the fact that it's about a family that gets to know each other, makes a trip and has some both frightening and fun adventures," he said.

Actress Vicki Rose said she's having fun portraying one of the sisters in the play.

"My character, she's a bit crabby and cranky and she goes along begrudgingly," Rose said. "Deep down, she's actually kind of enjoying it but she wouldn't want anyone to really know."

Algire said people of all ages should enjoy the play.

"It's got a little something for the older people and it's got some funny stuff for the younger crowd," he said.

Audience members will have a chance to meet Bumgarner during a light reception at 7 p.m. Friday prior to the performance.

Additionally, the players teamed up with the Coalyard Restaurant and Lounge, 105 Garner St., York, to offer a special dinner package prior to the Friday and Saturday evening performances. The package is $15 per person and includes the dinner and play.