Nothing brings a family emotionally closer than the impending death of a loved one. Of course, nothing drives a family further apart than time spent together, so the "let's all gather and await the death of so-and-so" is really a crapshoot, isn't it? Del Shores mines this paradox in his "Southern-fried" comedy Daddy's Dyin' (Who's Got the Will?). Daddy's indeed close to death, and either the near-fatal stroke or his own contrary nature precludes him from recalling where, exactly, he's left his will. Matters are exacerbated by his unruly brood of children and their spouses, all trapped in the family home with one another: The pious Lurlene has a few choice words for black-sheep sister Evalita and her current hippy-dippy boyfriend, and even brother Orville and his quietly suffering wife, Marlene, are at the end of their ropes. Of course, knowing who's getting the lion's share of the inheritance would go a long way toward soothing those hurt feelings. But before answers are found, there must be witty dialogue — it's a Southern comedy, after all, and repartee makes the whole thing go. HotCity Theatre presents Daddy's Dyin' (Who's Got the Will?) at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (July 13 through 29) at the ArtLoft Theatre (1529 Washington Avenue; 314-289-4060 or Tickets are $15 to $20.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: July 13. Continues through July 29

Speaking of Highlights, Orville

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