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Texas Toast

Texas Toast

"I think I made a mistake marrying for the fifth time without holding out for the real thing."

A cat-fightin', trash-talkin' mess, writer-director Wendy R. Williams' comedy "Texas Toast" has some funny moments despite sloppy direction and an overly complex, rough-hewn script.

Here's the basics: In Lewisville, Texas, the recently deceased Delbert Delano (Brian Rush), family matriarch Lawanda's (Andrea Hoffman) fourth husband, has been swiped from the funeral home so he can spend one more night with the family -- specifically, on the brand new couch of his stepdaughter, Doreen (Diedre Kilgore), and her husband Harley (Larry Nodarse).

Doreen's sister Annie (Bethany Sacks), meanwhile, a day after marrying Bubba (Mikal Saint George) gets restless and is soon making plays at ex-boyfriends, like ambulance driver Dwayne (Stephen Wheeler). At the same time, Doreen and Harley are trying to be supportive of their stepdaughter Tiffany's (Samantha Downs) beauty contest dreams, while Delbert's hairdresser son (Brian James Grace) appears, wanting nothing more than to fix his daddy's 'do before the following day's services.

Stuffing all this family intrigue into a 90-minute show -- and mixing it with a cacophony of over-the-top performances -- the play simply drowns in its own ridiculousness, which is a shame since there are many funny ideas and hilarious lines strewn throughout that would work well with a surer hand and a lighter touch.

Funniest of all, in fact, is poor Delbert, a corpse continually bounced around and dragged in and out by the family, much like the title character in Hitchcock's much more droll "The Trouble with Harry." A very disappointing misfire.

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