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Valley native returns with star-studded show

VALLEY — “It’s home, and I don’t want people to forget where they’re from.”

That was the main reason award-winning author and Valley native DiShan Washington decided to hold a performance of her stage play, “Why Can’t I get Married?,” here in the Greater Valley Area.

“I want to give people a chance to get out and dress up,” she said.

Washington, the daughter of Rev. Jackie and Melinda Winters, hails from Valley but has been living in Atlanta for the past 20 years.

“I’m excited,” she said. “It’s good to go off for a while and then come back and show what you’ve been doing.”

Her play, which has toured in Los Angeles and is scheduled to tour in New Orleans, will be performed at the Langdale Auditorium this Friday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. EST.

“People will love it,” she said. “It’s very, very funny and will have people laughing and crying throughout.”

Based on the bestseller book of the same name written by Andre Chapple, who is also a producer for the show, “Why Can’t I get Married” features a star-studded cast, including: Grammy Award Winning R&B recording artist Dave Hollister of Blackstreet, gospel recording artist Damita Chandler and local artist Morris Perryman.

The stage play is centered on Jewel Thomas (Alicia Pigee) who has been in a two-year relationship with an aspiring singer. Although Jewel is pressuring her boyfriend (Kevin E. Stafford) to pop the question, he finds every excuse as to why it is not the right time.

Jewel’s church-going mother (Franchesca White) stops at nothing to express her discontent with daughter’s boyfriend and to let him know that she’s going to pray him out of Jewel’s life. However, while trying to push her daughter’s prospect out, a young beau (Morris Perryman) is trying to push up on her.

Jewel’s friends (Pia D. Days, Chandler & Omega George), who are on opposite ends of the love spectrum, are in each other’s ear about their stance on romance, until the newlywed’s news leaves everyone in total disbelief.

As Jewel faces a tough decision, her pastor (Chapple) gives her advice about the importance of choosing the right mate and suggests that her “Mr. Right” (Hollister) may have been around her the entire time. But what will Jewel do?

Reception to the show is expected to be good, Washington said. According to a recent check, 325 out of 542 available seats have already been sold and even more are expected to sell the night of.

“We’re expecting to sell out,” she said. “People will be coming in from all over, including New York and Los Angeles.”

Tickets for Friday’s show can be purchased in advance online at www.whycantigetmarried.ticketleap.com or at the door on Friday night. General Admission is $25.  A limited number of VIP packages, which includes backstage passes to a VIP reception, priority seating and red-carpet interview are also available for $40.