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Southern comedy ‘Rex Exes’ fundraiser for Relay for Life

Southern comedy ‘Rex Exes’ to raise funds for Relay for Life

Rehearsing a scene from “Rex’s Exes” are, from left, Jennifer Young, Sharon Bell, Mike Owens, Julie Hutwagner and Kemal Joseph. (Staff Photo: Karen Rohr)

Rehearsing a scene from “Rex’s Exes” are, from left, Jennifer Young, Sharon Bell, Mike Owens, Julie Hutwagner and Kemal Joseph. (Staff Photo: Karen Rohr)

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Performers in the upcoming “Rex’s Exes” comedy include, front from left, Patsy Eggers as Mama Doll Hargis, Eddie Hutwagner as Uncle Aubrey, Jennifer Young as Marlissa Crutchfield, Sarah Williams as Gentle Harmony, Susan Wheeler as Cee Cee Windham, back from left, Julie Hutwagner as Gaynelle Verdeen, Mike Owens as T. Rexford Belrose and Kemal Joseph as Wild Bill Boudreaux. (Staff Photo: Karen Rohr)

It might seem a little surprising that the Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home’s Relay for Life team would choose an outlandish comedy to raise money for the American Cancer Society, but if history is any indicator, the strategy is working.

In the spring, the Covington funeral home’s Relay for Life team generated over $8,000 for the ACS with its performance of “The Red Velvet Cake War,” the story of three cousins — Gaynelle, Peaches and Jimmy Wyvette — who get into a tangle with their Aunt La Merle about who can make the best red velvet cake.

This coming weekend, the Relay for Life team will perform the comedy’s sequel, “Rex’s Exes,” which features several of the same characters including the wacky cousins, their hoity-toity Aunt La Merle and their Uncle Aubrey, an oxygen-dependent 80-year-old who loves the ladies.

“These characters are hilarious, wacky Southern characters that we can all identify with in some way,” said Gina Bryan, the show’s director. “We’ve known these characters. These are people that we all have in our lives, if we are from the South or live in the South.”

The dinner theater performance of “Rex’s Exes,” runs Nov. 16 and Nov. 23, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m., a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings served at 6 p.m. and the show at 7 p.m., at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, 8100 Bob Williams Parkway in Covington.

Cost is $25 and all of the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. Tickets can be purchased by calling Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home at 770-786-7062 or email Scott Ellis at scott.e@caldwellandcowan.com.

“Rex’s Exes” revolves around the efforts of Jimmy Wyvette (“a good old girl with an unfortunate unibrow,” said Bryan) to open a wedding boutique called the Wide Bride, for larger women.

As she and her two cousins are scrambling to get the boutique up to snuff in time for a visit from a politician’s wife, Peaches, a mortuarial cosmetologist, is haunted by the ghost of her declared-dead husband Rex.

When a medium called Gentle Harmony hypnotizes Peaches to help her deal with the ghost, her two cousins and aunt fall under hypnosis as well. The two cousins confess they had their own relationships with Rex in high school, and Aunt La Merle is accidentally convinced into thinking she is a monkey.

Meanwhile, a bounty hunter named Wild Bill Boudreaux shows up looking for the declared-dead husband Rex.

The play is written by the trio of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, who also co-wrote the television show, “The Golden Girls.”

“If you get that kind of humor, then multiply the wackiness by 1,000 and then you get some of their plays,” said Bryan.

Bryan is no stranger to community theater, having performed in a number of New Depot Players performances, most recently “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” in summer 2012. She’s also directed several shows and children’s acting troupes at Social Circle Theater.

Bryan, a Covington resident, said the performance of “Rex’s Exes” is unique in Newton County because the county doesn’t have a community theater group.

“It’s kind of fun to see people you know in the community being up there for a good cause,” said Bryan. “Come prepared to laugh.”

If you go

What: “Rex’s Exes,” dinner theater comedy

When: Nov. 16 and 23; doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Where: 8100 Bob Williams Parkway in Covington

Cost: $25

Info: Tickets can be purchased by calling Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home at 770-786-7062 or email Scott Ellis at scott.e@caldwellandcowan.com.