The Crighton Theatre, named one of the Top 10 Theatres in the state of Texas to see live theatre performance by BestThingsTX.com, will present Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End by Allison Engel and Margaret Engel. The show will be produced by TSF, Inc. and presented by arrangement with Samuel French Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company. The production is being sponsored by Dockline Magazine, Texas Coffee News, STAGE RIGHT of Texas and the Crighton Theatre Foundation.
The play is a loving comic tribute to one of our country’s most beloved voices, who captured the frustrations of her generation by asking, “If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits?” From her troubled childhood, where she found comfort in the words of Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley, through her rise to fame as a journalist and public figure, discover the story behind America’s beloved humorist who championed women’s lives with wit that sprang from the most unexpected place of all – the truth. Born in 1927 to a 16 year old mother and working class father, Erma struggled against what was expected of her: to work in menial jobs until she found a husband. Instead, she determinedly pursued her dream of being a writer and had her first writing job at 15 yr- writing obituaries for the local paper. As a stay-at-home wife and mother Erma continued her career and at the height of her fame her column “A Wit’s End” was syndicated in 900 newspapers across the country. Erma’s humorous and brutally honest observations on life in suburbia also spawned best-selling books including: I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression (1973); The Grass Is Always Greener over the Septic Tank (1976), which was adapted (1978) into a television film; and If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? (1978). Erma continued her career as a writer, public speaker and champion of women’s rights till shortly before her death in 1996 due to complications from a kidney transplant.
This one-woman show stars award winning actress and Crighton favorite Carolyn Corsano Wong. Carolyn was a Founder, Artistic Director and Executive Producer for STAGE RIGHT of Texas (resident theatre company at the Crighton). She has appeared in many productions at the Crighton Theatre including Hello Dolly (Dolly Levi), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Mrs. Meers), Young Frankenstein (Frau Blucher), The Wizard of Oz (Wicked Witch) and Always, Patsy Cline (Louise Seger). In addition to starring in the show, Carolyn is also producing and co-directing with her husband Steve Wong. As an added treat, the Wongs have obtained permission from the Bombeck Family and the Erma Bombeck Collection at the University of Dayton to incorporate pictures of Erma Bombeck into the production. So while Erma’s story is unfolding on the stage, the audience will be able to see Erma’s life in pictures projected on a large screen that will be incorporated into the set design.
This show is being presented as a fundraiser for the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation. Erma Bombeck passed away in 1996 due to complications of a kidney transplant necessitated by polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Like the Bombeck family, Carolyn’s family has also been impacted by PKD. PKD is a chronic, genetic disease causing uncontrolled growth of fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys, often leading to kidney failure. It affects all racial and ethnic groups equally. PKD affects an estimated 600,000 people in America and 2.4 million worldwide. More than 50% of people with Autosomal Dominant PKD will develop kidney failure by age 50. Once a person has kidney failure, dialysis or kidney transplant are the only treatment options. Parents have a 50% chance of passing the disease to their children, so it often affects many people in one family. A talk-back session will be held after each performance where information about PKD will be presented and how patrons can help by funding research efforts and learn about kidney donation. Profits from ticket sales and concession sales will be donated to the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation (www.pkdcure.org) which is dedicated to finding a cure. More information about the fundraiser can be found on Carolyn’s fundraising page: Carolyn ‘At Wit’s End’ in Conroe at www.pkdcure.org.
Show dates are June 25-27, 2021 with performances at 7 pm on Friday June 25, and 1 pm and 4 pm on Saturday June 26 and Sunday June 27. Performances will be held at the historic Crighton Theatre at 234 N. Main in downtown Conroe, Texas. Tickets for Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End are $26 for adults, $24 for seniors 62 yr and older and $17 for youth 16 yr and under. Tickets for STAGE RIGHT season subscribers are only $20. Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by calling the box office. Tickets can obtained by calling the Crighton Theatre box office at 936-441-SHOW (7469) or online at www.crightontheatre.org. While the theatre will be open to 100% capacity, we will abide by the rules the Crighton Theatre has in place to protect all patrons; masks upon entry and in common areas.
This show is sure to appeal to anyone that has had a mother or a kidney.
Please use same pics and layout as May 2020 article with quotes interspersed
For layout of article: use photos attached and scatter Erma quotes throughout. Article could have a 70s look.
“When you look like your passport photo, it’s time to go home.”
“All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them. ”
“I have seen my kid struggle into the kitchen in the morning with outfits that need only one accessory: an empty gin bottle.”
“My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.”
Carolyn Corsano Wong
234 N. Main St.
Conroe, TX 77301