Audiences Hit with Slapstick Comedy at the PPP

Last weekend, audiences burst into laughter during the Poplar Pike Playhouse’s slapstick
comedy Is He Dead? The play, by Mark Twain and later adapted by David Ives, centers around a
fictitious tale of the hapless French painter Jean-Francois Millet. Struggling to make ends meet
in 19th century Paris, Millet discovers the key to his survival is ironically death. Millet’s inner
circle urges him to fake his death and mask his identity in order for all of them to benefit from
the “late” Millet’s fame, riches, and critical acclaim.
On opening night, Playhouse patrons raved about the humor of the show. “The show was
absolutely hilarious and thoroughly entertaining,” claimed friend of the Playhouse Stephanie
Thomas.
During the production, Millet’s three friends, Chicago, Dutchy, and O’Shaughnessy,
capture the witty early 20th century technique made famous by the original kings of comedy. “I
felt like the three friends, Dutchy, Chicago, and O’Shaughnessy, symbolize the slapstick from
the Three Stooges,” said director Jeff White, “and I wanted to pay homage to that joyous era of
comedy.”
“Those three stooges characters made me feel like I was the ‘30s,” said long time
Playhouse supporter Diane Morales, “Each brought his own swing of slapstick that drove the
plot all night!”
The cast of characters is not the only thing of note in the performance. The costumes,
both nostalgic and evocative, as well as the sound effects add to Twain’s vision for an accepted,
yet unbelievable life of the artist. “It was very apparent that Mark Twain wanted us to realize we
are all the same no matter what clothes we put on,” mentioned audience member Barbara
Edwards. “Twain’s cultural message is for all of us; we should not judge each other...respect
everyone!”
Morales added, “Run! Don’t walk to get your tickets! These actors really hit the nail the
head with expressing each character’s own comedic talent and everyone should see it before it
ends.”

Does Millet ultimately find happiness in death through fortune and fame or is he happier
living a life of debt? Swing by the PPP to find out! Is He Dead? runs through November 4.
Tickets can be purchased at PPP.org or through the Poplar Pike Playhouse’s Box Office at (901)
755-7775. Tickets can be reserved two days in advance and receive a discount with the use of
promo codes on the PPP’s daily updated social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and
Snapchat). The Poplar Pike Playhouse is located on the campus of Germantown High School.

 Millet (Kyle Bowers) confronts Andre (Rodney McKinner) about Millet's misfortune.

Millet (Kyle Bowers) confronts Andre (Rodney McKinner) about Millet's misfortune.

 Marie (Scarlett Simpson) scolds "Daisy" (Kyle Bowers) for dancing on a tragic day.

Marie (Scarlett Simpson) scolds "Daisy" (Kyle Bowers) for dancing on a tragic day.

 Chicago (Alan Toney) and "Daisy" (Kyle Bowers) attempt to hide a major discovery.

Chicago (Alan Toney) and "Daisy" (Kyle Bowers) attempt to hide a major discovery.