There really is a fishing lure called Zara Spook.
"Zara Spook and Other Lures," directed by Jeff Larsen, is a refreshing change from the Twin Beach Players' past comedic works because the lead role belongs to a female character.
Joan Ackerman's romantic comedy in two acts shows us our peculiarities -- through a fisher woman traveling to a fishing tournament where she will use the Zara Spook lure to catch bass.
The Zara Spook, according to Field and Stream, is the "best top-water plug ever built." It looks like a "cigar butt with hooks" has a "seductive wigwagging action that drives . . . bass, small mouths, pickerel, pike, muskies and stripers . . . nuts."
The character that uses this Zara Spook to lure us into this wide-open space of our own strangeness is Evelyn, played by Sherry Hall, who travels with her fisher buddy, Teale, 2,000 miles from Beckley, W.Va., to Truth or Consequences, N.M., to fish in the Bass n' Gal national fishing championship.
Evelyn is unusual not because she is living with a boyfriend named Talmedge, but because one wonders why she bothers, since she practically disdains him. Talmedge, played by Luke Woods, is ridiculously obsessed with Evelyn. Even her asthmatic girlfriend Teale, played by Stacey Hook, seems to find Talmedge pitiful.
Evelyn's mental anxieties manifest in the form of typing in her brain. At the campsite she admits that the tournament, wreaking havoc on her nerves, is making the incessant typing unmanageable. Hall is hilarious when she shows Ramona, played by Jennie Ramey, how her character "mentally types" every thought of her own or someone else's.
Hook plays an asthmatic wonderfully and there does come a point during the tournament when she forgets her inhaler. Jose 'de Lar Mar, in his first Twin Beach Players' production, plays the fierce Mel with intensity. Mary Healey gives a definitive performance as the conservatively "new aged" Margery.
The set is wonderfully simple, using props to guide and establish the scene. We know we're in Talmedge's rugged home because of the table and chairs. You will get a kick out of how the actors travel from West Virginia to New Mexico. An aluminum fishing boat complete with fishing rods and tackle boxes gives us the impression we're on the lake watching Evelyn fish and Teale assist. The simplest of all: the hill across the lake in New Mexico, which requires nothing but the skill of Woods and 'de Lar Mar to pull it off, which they do quite well.
The comedy opened last weekend with performances to benefit the Calvert County Chapter of the Red Cross. You can hear the joke about the ants and find out how Evelyn does in the tournament, as the Players present "Zara Spook" at the Holland Point Community Center tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, and on April 4, 5 and 6. Show times are 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 4 p.m. on Sundays.
The group Premier Country, a four-person country western band, will provide musical entertainment during the two Saturday productions. The band will perform before the show, during intermission and at the end of the program.
Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door; $10 for seniors and $5 for students. Were it rated, this show would be a PG-13.
Tickets are available at Richard's Bayside Florist in North Beach, Bayhill Accents and Bayhill Market in Chesapeake Beach, and the Prince Frederick County Library. For more information, contact Twin Beach Players at 301-855-0009.