The Roustabouts Theatre Co. in San Diego is Back with in Person Theatre.

For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls Begins The Live Extravaganza With  Funny, Cheeky  One-Act Plays Running Until December 4 at MOXIE Theatre

Omri Schein, Walter Murray, Wendy Waddell, and Wendy Maples - Photo Credit: Tim Bostsko

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Roustabouts really brought the histrionic content game during that year and a half without live theatre with great, highly produced filmed streaming pieces that kept the company present and audiences engaged.

For the "comeback", the motors started warming up to in-person dynamic with a light comedic option. As the year is coming to an end, the US/Mexico border just opened back up, and mostly everybody has  holiday brain, this is a breezy one to welcome audiences and ease them back in.

For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls written by Christopher Durang (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) involves 90 minutes of five short plays full of wit, comedy, and at times a bit too ballsy. 

The performance starts out strong with Wanda’s Visit. Wanda (Wendy Maples) is that crazy high school ex-girlfriend who comes back to visit Jim (Walter Murray) "the one who got away", now married to Marsha (Wendy Waddell), and gets overly comfortable in the couples home. The ensemble is all together onstage at one time and they ping pong wonderfully and have great, fast rhythm. Director Phil Johnson's baton certainly makes a presence there seeing the rapport and fun each of the actors is having on stage. The Wendys exchange comedic jabs that have audiences bursting in loud laughs and Walter is like a catalyst between the thunder that is happening with creative segue ways. Waddel is always a joy to watch delivering the serious and well-articulated with a dash of very entertaining sass. The sketch seemed like it had more life to it story-wise. I was left wanting more and some sort of closure to what happens to the characters, especially crazy Wanda played strikingly by Wendy Maples.

The cast involves some of San Diego's funny favorites. From a seasoned Jewish talent agent to a hypochondriac with a stirrer collection and a leaping French waiter, in From Another Zero's lens, Omri Schein brings the house down with strong humorous power delivering variety with each kooky character. Alyssa Kane's set design shines through a semi-hot pink wallpaper that seems worn down but as it is starting to peel, it shows another set of pictures that make the eye go to those creative corners each time.  

Omri Schein, Wendy Maples, Wendy Waddell, and Walter Murray- Photo Credit: Tim Bostsko

The following plays are also funny with cool tones, but definitely not as strong and solid as the first one. For Whom... was written in the mid-90s and certain scenarios use words that have not aged that well. However, comedy besides knowing how to land a punchline, read the audience and make them laugh, is about taking risks and Roustabouts did just that welcoming us back. Also, there is a "jab" at Covid that I thought was very pertinent and metaphoric at the same time. Intelligently placed, nicely done. 

Catch For Whom The Belle Tolls at MOXIE THEATRE until Saturday, December 4. Tickets are $40 dollars (general seating) Seniors & Students: $32 dollars. To purchase call 619-568-5800 or visit

The design team includes Alyssa Kane (Set and Props Designer), Chloe Oliana M Clark (Lighting), Jon Fredette (Sound), Renetta Lloyd and Roz Lehman (Costumes), and Maggie Allen (Costume Assistant). Phil Johnson is the Producer, Zack King is the Stage Manager, and Ron Christopher Jones is the Line Producer.

Shameless plug: listen to our latest podcast episode where we talk to two wonderful cast members of She The People with The Second City HERE

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