Play is good-hearted fun
By LYNN FELDER
"Duck Hunter Shoots Angel," which opened Friday night at Twin City Stage, follows the misadventures of a couple of good old boys who think they've shot an angel and a tabloid journalist from "up North" as they search for meaning and redemption in an Alabama swamp.
Along the way, we meet a half-man, half-gator; a smart girl who runs the local Gasmart; a mysterious woman; and a corrupt tabloid-newspaper publisher.
The journalist, Sandy, played with disillusioned charm by Don Gunther, sums up his philosophy this way: "Life is about stumbling from one mistake to the other … and then you die." He is schooled along the way by the bumbling duck hunters — Duane (Ken Ashford), his brother Duwell (Chad Edwards) — and a couple of earth angels — Kansas (Katlyn Swanson) who runs the Gasmart and Woman (Laurel Ullman), the love he sacrificed to his ambition.
Rudy Anderson as Lenny, Sandy's photographer side-kick, is quite good, lending some naturalism in his acting to the frequently farcical proceedings.
Ashford and Edwards are often hilarious with their endless stream of malapropisms; at one point of extreme stress, Ashford's Duane declares that he's about to have "a corollary."
The Southern characters have Southern accents, but Gunther and Zach Hall, who plays the "Weekly World and Globe" publisher, Lester, use neutral accents.
In a script that constantly compares the North and the South and makes good-hearted fun of both, some actual Northern accents would have created more contrast and more humor.
The set by Larry Hurych is functional and effective with smooth scene changes and a great, murky swamp. The lighting by Daniel Alvarez supports the action nicely, particularly in the scenes that suggest the angel's presence.