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It takes two
Masquers present <i>Parallel Lives</i> as part of surprise summer season

For years, Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy toured with a comedy show called The Kathy and Mo Show.

In 1991, HBO caught up with the two in San Francisco and filmed the show as an HBO Comedy Special, The Kathy and Mo Show: Parallel Lives. The two were awarded CableACE awards for their performances.

Parallel Lives the stage play presents the same kind of humor as the stage shows and HBO special. It takes a fond, humorous look at women, particularly their relationships.

Armstrong Atlantic State University is presenting Parallel Lives as part of its ENCORE Surprise Summer Season. It is directed by Dr. Peter Mellon, head of AASU’s theater department.

“I thought it would work well in our Black Box Theater,” Mellon says. “We needed a black box show in between the mainstage productions, and I wanted something funny.”

Emily Sheffield and Rachel Caldas are the only two characters in the show.”There are a series of scenes and in each one, they play various parts,” Mellon says.

In one scene, they portray members of the Disney Mother’s group therapy session. “It’s a self-help meeting for the mothers of Disney characters,” Mellon says. “They deal with issues that those women would face -- such as the fact that Disney movies tend to kill them off.”

Nothing is off limits, including playing men in some scenes. “One thing that’s been challenge is me trying to figure what the heck the script is about,” Mellon says. “There are quite a few things that I don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Having two actors play multiple roles also provides challenges. “You have to make sure each character is clear and distinct,” Mellon says.

“It’s a fun, interesting, look at the universe from a woman’s point of view,” he says. “Most popular culture comes from a male point of view, yet 50 percent of the population is women.”

Sheffield says being in the production has been quite an experience. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before,” she says. “This show is crazy. Sometimes it’s hard to get through rehearsal because we’re both laughing so hard.”

The show is going to be a lot of fun for audiences, Sheffield says. “It’s a chance for people to step back and watch situations we are living daily,” she says.

Caldas auditioned for Parallel Lives because it was a comedy. “I liked what I read when I went to audition,” she says. “And I knew that the director was really good. If you are looking for a really good laugh and a good time, come to the show. If I was watching, I would be laughing all the time. It’s great dialogue.”

Parallel Lives will be presented July 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Armstrong Atlantic State University Jenkins Black Box Theater. Tickets are $8. Call the box office weekdays from 2-6 p.m. at 927-5381.