Oak Alley play a bittersweet story

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 2, 1999

DEBORAH CORRAO / L’Observateur / October 2, 1999

A Cajun widow and her two sons are torn apart by the ravages of World War II in John Doucet’s drama “Back Some Day, Come What May,” now playing at the Oak Alley Plantation Outdoor Dinner Theater.

The play, the latest offering of the local playwright, opens as John, the younger of the two sons of widow Jeanne Cheramie, is preparing to leave for war.

Jeanne Cheramie, played by Merlyn Foret, must not only cope with the loss of her son but with the bitterness of his older brother, played by Danny Pitre. The latter has been rejected by the Army because he is blind in oneeye.

The two-act drama, produced by the New Rebstock Theater, takes the older son, James, from the bitterness and envy that characterizes his relationship with the other members of his family to an eventual understanding of his responsibilities to his family and country.

“Back Some Day, Come What May,” directed by Alice Beverley Munson, is the fifth of Doucet’s plays to be presented at Oak Alley. Doucet is a winnerof the 1998 Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellow in Playwriting and the Native Voices and Visions Award for the first play, “Tant Que Durera La Terre.”Doucet is coming into his own as a chronicler of the Cajun experience in Louisiana, bringing his unique comedic style to such events as the Battle of New Orleans and the Great Cheniere storm of 1893. He breaks newground with his latest offering, recording the Cajun contribution to World War II.

“Back Some Day, Come What May” also demonstrates Doucet’s growth as a playwright, especially in the area of character development. The drama isbittersweet, exploring love won and lost on the homefront as battles are won and lost on the other side of the world.

Doucet’s work is both poignant and humorous as he explores the complex relationships within one Cajun family and how, as war takes its toll, family members make peace with each other.

Foret, Pitre, Sid Ordoyne as the younger of the two Cheramie sons and Melissa LeBlanc as his girlfriend all turn in very creditable performances.

“Back Some Day, Come What May” runs Saturday evenings through Oct. 9and Sunday afternoons through Oct. 10.For reservations, call 504-265-2151 or 1-800-442-5539.

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