Bette Davis play will open Blackfriars season

05:00 AM, Oct 13, 2013

Tom Smalley and Ed Popil star in Me & Jezebel at Blackfriars. Smalley and Popil are best known as The Big Wigs, Ms. Aggy Dune and Mrs. Kasha Davis. (provided by Blackfriars)/


More plays

Everyone’s Theatre Company performs An Evening of One Acts with “The Zoo Story” by Edward Albee, “Habit,” by John Patrick and “Romeo and Juliet — Six Very Busy Days” by Robert Wing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Dazzle School of Visual and Performing Arts, 112 Webster Ave. Tickets are $8 ($5 in advance). Call (585) 727-1373 or go to everyonestheatre.com.
An Evening of Thrills and Chills is back at Black Sheep Theatre, Suite D-313, Village Gate Square, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; and Oct. 25 to 27. Tickets are $20 ($16 in advance). Call (585) 861-4816 or go to blacksheeptheatre.org.
Fall Mansion Mysteries at Sonnenberg participatory tales are back on Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 26. Registration is required; tickets are $24; $20 for teens. Call (585) 394-4922 or go to sonnenberg.org.
BalletX, a contemporary ballet company from Philadelphia, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca St., Geneva. Tickets are $30; $25 for seniors; $10 for college students; free for youths. Call (315) 781-5483 or go to thesmith.org.
Dance/Strasser will showcase students’ choreography and dance at The College at Brockport. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rose L. Strasser Studio in the college’s Hartwell Hall. Call (585) 395-2787 or go to brockport.edu/finearts.

Imagine Bette Davis coming to visit — and staying for a month. That’s exactly what happened to Elizabeth Fuller, a Connecticut housewife who in 1985 met the Oscar-winning actress through a mutual friend and then invited the diva to stay the night at her home when a New York City hotel strike left Davis without a room. Fuller wrote a memoir about the experience, and Me & Jezebel is a stage play developed from the book that debuted in 1994 and has been a sleeper hit internationally since. The show is playing right now at the Snapple Theatre in New York City, with Fuller playing herself.

Traditionally, the Davis character is played in drag. John Haldoupis, artistic director of Blackfriars Theatre, whose production of Me & Jezebel opens Friday, got the idea of doing both characters in drag when he was watching a Big Wigs show. The Big Wigs are made up of Mrs. Kasha Davis (aka Ed Popil) and Ms. Aggy Dune (aka Tom Smalley), and their shows sell out regularly and have put the two at the top of the list of charity show emcees. Kasha Davis is a suburban housewife with theatrical flair, “and that’s who the writer, Elizabeth Fuller, is,” Haldoupis says.

However, Popil and Smalley also are accomplished actors. This show will not be The Big Wigs playing Davis and Fuller, but Smalley and Popil playing the parts. The show runs from Saturday through Nov. 2 at Blackfriars, 895 E. Main St. Tickets are $28.50 to $36.50. Call (585) 454-1260 or go to bftix.org.