This weekend, the Thibodaux Playhouse will present the 30-year anniversary of “The Kingfish” at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, 314 St. Mary St. in Thibodaux.
The one-man play, written by Larry L. King and Ben Grant, depicts the life of the 40thgovernor of Louisiana, Huey P. Long.
The show will be a homecoming for director Perry Martin and actor John ‘Spud’ McConnell.
The Nicholls State University roommates teamed up together – with McConnell playing Long and Martin directing – and presented “The Kingfish’s” world premiere at the Thibodaux Civic Center in the spring of 1988.
Following that performance, “The Kingfish” along with McConnell's and Martin’s careers, took off.
The show received national attention and traveled across the South for over four years before eventually making its way to New York for its Off-Broadway debut. Later, the play toured for the many years that followed.
Both Martin and McConnell achieved illustrious careers in entertainment aside from “The Kingfish”, too.
Martin directed and produced over 180 theatrical productions and one film, and owns three companies: Evangeline Entertainment, Kingfish OnStage and The Halifax Theatre Co.
Recognized by people in Hollywood for his talents, McConnell acted in three seasons of the popular ABC show Roseanne, and has over 100 stage, comedy clubs, television and film appearances. Today, he can also be seen and heard on “The Spudcast”, WLAE TV and “The Spud Show” on 106.7 FM radio. He even has a life-sized bronze statue of him in on Canal Street in New Orleans, honoring his portrayal of Ignatius J. Riley in the play “A Confederacy of Dunces”.
“John and I have come a long way from those two wide-eyed kids from the back wood swamps of South Louisiana,” reads a statement by Martin. “We're both very proud and grateful for our career accomplishments since we first opened “The Kingfish” in Thibodaux those many years ago.”
This year’s one-weekend-only show is on Saturday, performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.
The duo will be in attendance for an after-play reception after each performance.
Tickets for the play are $35 per person and can be reserved by calling the Playhouse at 985-446-1896 or by visiting www.thibodauxplayhouse.com.
“It’s very exciting to bring those 30-plus years of theatrical experiences back to the Bayou,” Martin added. “To return to the play that put us on the map and started our careers, and to perform “The Kingfish” at The Thibodaux Playhouse -- in the town where it all started -- will be nothing shy of magical."