By YUNG LU
Having never gone to a family reunion, “The Farley Family Reunion” has given me a taste of what they can be like — eccentric, strange, quirky, odd and funny.
Created, written, and performed by James Arrington, “The Farley Family Reunion,” performing now at the SCERA indoor theater, is a one-man play that depicts an extended family reunion in Utah. Arrington skillfully performs fifteen different family members by contorting his face and changing his mannerisms from one family member to another.
Arrington’s depiction of each family member was attributed more toward his acting skills than the costume designs or props. His quick and versatile change of characters kept the audience’s attention throughout the play. Although this was a one-man show, Arrington’s performance made it seem as if a full cast was on stage. Arrington even appears as himself in the play by doing a hilarious magic show for the Farleys.
The play was directed more towards a Utah Valley audience, with dialogue focusing on the I-15 construction, the 2002 Olympics, the Utah Jazz, large families and Arrington’s Utah accent.
The main reason I enjoyed this production is because Arrington interacts with the audience throughout play. Arrington makes you feel right at home with the Farley’s reunion by having you wear name tags at the start of the play. Of course there was the Farley family cheer the audience got to participate in. Arrington also handed out awards to the audience for winning specific “Farley family” categories.
“The Farley Family Reunion” will remind you of your own family reunion with odd relatives you didn’t think you were related to. After experiencing my first family reunion, I’m already waiting for next year’s show.
“The Farley Family Reunion” is two hours long with an intermission. The play can be seen on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays through May 10 at the SCERA’s new indoor theater located on 745 State St., in Orem. Tickets are $8. For further information, contact the SCERA 1-5 weekdays at (801) 225-2569 or 225-ARTS.