Dearly Departed is a play that follows the antics of a dysfunctional Southern family following the death of their patriarch. When patriarch Bud passes, all sorts of family come out of the woodwork to make his funeral special. What ensues is a comedy of hilarious proportions with characters to match.
Monticello Stage Company member, Jan Williams reports that the actors are all doing an excellent job on this production. They have been rehearsing for several months, though “fortunately, there has been a lot going on at the Opera House.”
“Unfortunately,” Williams continues, “that has not given us very much time to practice on set. We have very great actors—some of them are Stage Company veterans and some are new to us—and they are working well with whatever they’re given.” From adaptable, larger-than-life actors, believable and hilarious characters are born: this play is sure to be a must see.
She also praises the writers, David Botrell and Jesse Jones, for capturing the stereotype of Southern families. “If you’ve been in the South for any length of time or have met a Southern family, you’ll recognize the characters,” Williams laughs.
Catering is provided by local restaurant gem, Carrie Ann & Company.
The night’s meal will include Caesar salad, white chicken lasagna with mushrooms and fontina cheese, sautéed vegetables, rolls, and a tasty dessert of sour cream pound cake topped with whipped cream.
Carrie Ann & Company is a local restaurant with a café-style lunch including fresh salads and sandwiches and a pleasant atmosphere. Their dinners are delicious, hearty fare including local favorites like shrimp and grits, and more elaborate dishes from quiche to ham, herb-stuffed pork loin to crepes and everything in between. They also cater events.
When you visit Monticello, this is a must-visit dining experience. It is convenient, then, that they are catering Dearly Departed so that visitors might taste their delicious cuisine.
The Monticello Opera House is nestled into the large brick building commonly known as the Perkins Block. John Perkins, a remarkable entrepreneur of Victorian Jefferson County, built the Perkins block in 1890.
The building and Perkins’ businesses, which were operated out of the building, flourished for nearly a decade. Downstairs, Perkins sold general goods, sewing machine parts, farm implements, horses, carriages, and more.
Upstairs, the theatre crowned the building.
This became a regular venue for local and traveling performers. It was popular, acoustically perfect, and the largest theater in the area. Perkins showed particular foresight in building the Perkins block, which thrived with much thanks to the tourists that flocked to the area. Perkins was able to capitalize on their business by providing for their needs.
Unfortunately, Perkins could not have foreseen the tragedy that affected Jefferson County at the turn of the century: it was at that time the railroads were rerouted such that they bypassed Jefferson County and especially Monticello. Tourism went from a flood to a trickle, and even winter residents became less pervasive. This downturn was Perkins’ downfall—financially ruined by the large investment he put into the building and the lack of income from the razed tourism industry, Perkins business career was over. Fewer and fewer performers came to the venue and he eventually shut it down.
Since that time, the building has been used as a great number of things, including a movie theater, all with little success. In the 1970s, the dilapidated and abandoned Perkins Block was set to be put to the wrecking ball—and would have, but for a group of concerned citizens and public outcry against such a travesty.
It has since been restored and the Monticello Opera House Inc. was formed as a non-profit organization that facilitated and will continue to ensure the treatment and business of the historical landmark. Various local performing groups use it as a venue—the Monticello Acting and Dance Company, The Monticello Stage Company, and Southern Music Rising name only three of many.
The Night Away
While a night out can be nice, busy parents and professionals need a night away sometimes—let Monticello be that place for you.
Convenient to Tallahassee residents, Monticello offers fine opportunities for food and entertainment and charming Bed and Breakfasts for a romantic night away. The Cottage, the Avera-Clarke House, and the John Denham House are just a few examples of the beautiful accommodations you will find in Monticello.
See our Directory Post of our local Bed and Breakfasts for more information about the luxurious accommodations Jefferson County has to offer!