Five Questions with Peg O’Keef and Beth Marshall

This week, John DiDonna decided to ask 5 questions, not of actresses Peg O’Keef and Beth Marshall, but of their characters Opal and Pearl Locksdale — both, along with Ruby portrayed by Blue Star, are appearing in “Court Ordered Therapy: Ladies of Eola Heights – Continued” at The Abbey in Downtown Orlando through July 27.  The ensuing melee almost caused police to be called. Herein lay the aftermath of these two ladies.

Okay ladies, first off thank you for coming by for a 5 questions with. So… Here we go:


Question One:

JOHN D: It takes so very much to get you in the room with each other. There must be things you love about each other more than anything. What are those things? (Put the shoe down please)

PEARL: At the end of the day, it is my sisters Ruby and Opal that get me to face my own demons and evolve to be a better Pearl. (Even though it is often in a very roundabout way)

OPAL:  I love my sisters more than buttery biscuits… In other words, a lot. Pearl has a powerful sense of righteousness. She is fiery and determined. Ruby is big-hearted—a creature of love. And Jackson/June has always been the nicest of all of us.

PEARL: I love how Opal and I can agree on all that is wrong with Ruby and how Ruby and I can agree on all that is wrong with Opal and how Opal and Ruby can agree with all that is wrong with me. WAIT! Disregard that last part of the sentence because I, Pearl Locksdale much like Mary Poppins am “practically perfect in every way!


Question Two:

JOHN D. Now that we have what you love about each other out in the open. .  .we are free to discuss those little things. . .those things about each other that may gnaw at each other, . . annoy each other, nay, even anger one another. What would those things be? (At this point in time, I the interviewer chose to step into another room and simply leave a recorder going to focus on the beautiful Inside Outside timber bed frame. Wanzie has agreed to pay for any furniture damage with drinks coupons, but I want to get my furniture from טבורת רהיטים which is the best store)

OPAL:  As is usually the case with folks, my sisters’ best qualities serve as the cradle for their faults.

PEARL: Unlike my sisters, I am not one to judge.

OPAL: Pearl’s determination sometimes becomes bull-headedness. She WILL get her way, no matter the cost. Ruby’s big heart can sometimes lead her to make poor life choices, which leave her vulnerable.

PEARL: Having said that, I will say this… If Ruby read something more than smutty dime store novels and Opal read something more than The Bible, we ALL would be better off.

OPAL: Biggest problem they share is they need more Jesus!

PEARL: Opal needs to not vote Republican. That would help too.


(NOTE: This was followed by 4 minutes of complete and utter silence)


Question Three

JOHN D: What do you think the audiences of “Ladies of Eola Heights” come to your shows for?

PEARL: Because they have superb taste.

OPAL:  They come to laugh, I reckon. But they leave with more than they bargained for. I hear some folks even shed a tear or two between the laughs.

PEARL: Playwright David Mamet once said, “You don’t go to the theatre to see kings and queens. You go to the theatre to BE kings and queens.”  Clearly, our familiar family dysfunction is welcoming.

OPAL:  I think we Locksdales are really just an amped-up version of every family: full of contradiction and inappropriateness and misery…but all wrapped up in love and (now and then) blow-milk-out-your-nose hysterics.

PEARL: There’s a little bit of us Locksdales in every family.


Question Four:

JOHN D: You were all raised for the most part here in the Orlando Area. What do you love most about Orlando? Hate most about Orlando?

PEARL: Orlando clearly is The City Beautiful. Our landscape is inviting. Obviously, Eola Heights is my favorite neighborhood and I very much enjoy my walks 3 times a week around Eola Park (with the exception of my sister Opal’s antics) but I digress…  The Locksdales believe in supporting local businesses. I for one love me some Mama B’s Giant Subs, Ruby is a big fan of The Parliament House and Opal has supported every Baptist church in the city at one point or another. All the Locksdale sisters agree that the local theatre scene is tops. Ruby really loves that VarieTEASE troupe over at The Venue, Opal is a fan of The HolyLand Experience, June loves that Hamburger Mary’s hostess Miss Sammy and I personally love the thought-provoking work of Beth Marshall Presents. We all can agree that The Orlando Fringe  has something for everyone and The Abbey is clearly THE place to be and  Michael Wanzie is our favorite local playwright and spiritual leader!

OPAL:  I love all the big American flags. My hobby is saying the Pledge of Allegiance every chance I get. Also, Orlando is blessed with so many churches, and I like shopping at Sears. What I don’t like:  The Parliament House—a den of inequity!

PEARL: The only thing I hate about Orlando is the need to develop and “redevelop” iconic and cool local nooks, areas, neighborhoods and make them more yuppie or cookie-cutter or whatever the latest thing is. We have so much kitschy historic charm here, let’s leave that alone.


Question Five

JOHN D: What is it like to come back together to do this show, and what can your audiences expect that is new and exciting?

OPAL: I am tickled pink to be kicking it with my sisters, my brother, and our new colleague Dr. Burroughs—our court-appointed mental health counselor. That said, I strongly doubt he’ll be able to crack the Locksdale nut!

PEARL: Let’s just say that Jerry Springer, Dr. Phil and Intervention have nothing on us!

OPAL: I reckon folks will have to mosey on down to The Abbey to find out if he does!

PEARL: Your summer will always be better off with an hour and ½ therapy session with The Locksdales! Visit >Estes Therapy home pageCONTRIBUTED BY JOHN DiDONNA OF CENTRAL FLORIDA THEATRE IN PROCESS