“The Bed” was written by Dr. Nick Vlachos, an internist and occupational medicine specialist at West Georgia Health System who is originally from Illinois.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve produced a locally written show,” said Debby Durrence, LSPA president. “A few years ago, we did the small musical, ‘Kelly’s Truck Stop Bop,’ which was co-written by LaGrange College English professor John Williams.”
Durrence said the theater advisory committee first read “The Bed” and was impressed with it.
“We decided it had unique value and would fit well into our schedule,” she said. “Of course, reading the good reviews from previous productions in Chicago and California didn’t hurt.
“LSPA thinks it is important to support local artists and playwrights as much as we can, and we believe Dr. Vlachos’ play is certainly worthy of being produced in our town.”
Jim Hunt and Kelly Finley play the only characters in the production: Joe, a struggling painter, and Sara, a nurse. The romantic comedy chronicles the married life of the couple, beginning in 1983 and continuing to the year 2045.
“The entire play takes place in the bedroom,” Vlachos said. “Even with the passage of time, the constant is the couple’s bed, which remains the same and figures allegorically into their relationship.”
Director Ryan McWhorter said doing an original work sometimes can cause conflict, but in this case, having access to the writer has made it easier.
“You can get into his mind and his intentions and the actors also have access to him,” McWhorter said. “There’s a sense of fulfillment doing an original work that you don’t get with a work that’s been reproduced 100 times. You’re solidifying your spot in that play’s history.”
Vlachos has written about a dozen plays, most of which have received awards. “The Bed” is his only full-length play and has won various national play writing awards. Vlachos said it’s rated PG-13.
Vlachos said he was inspired to write a story about a couple committed to a marriage rather than the usual singles scene depicted in television and movies these days.
“I think a story about two people married can be even more entertaining,” he said. “Wouldn’t you want to see what happens to Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan after they meet at the top of the Empire State building or to Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton where the story ends just before we see their lives as husband and wife. Even ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ needs a good sequel.
“I am very honored, not only to see my play done in LaGrange, but especially to see the work done by a very talented group of people. I’ve been to a couple rehearsals and I can tell you that there is considerable chemistry between Jim and Kelly, the actors. They are very, very funny, kind of like a blend of ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘The Honeymooners,’ and Ryan McWhorter has captured the spirit of the dialogue.”
The play is a “universal story” about what keeps a couple together - and how women are wired to know when there’s disharmony in a relationship.
“It can occur over time or as quickly as when they are walking down the aisle on their wedding day, and women also know inherently how to fix it,” he said. “Men are clueless until they ask. Once given a road map, we do pretty good.”
— The Lafayette Theater Company presents “The Bed” in the Lafayette Society for Performing Arts’ black box theater at 214 Bull St. Show are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and May 6-7, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Call (706) 882-9909.