OREM — James Arrington's "Farley Family Reunion" has been around so long and been seen by so many people that many have attended the Farley reunions more than their own.
This time around, Arrington is going to kind of "tell all" as he celebrates 25 years of potato chips with his latest show involving the icons of Utah found among the Farleys. Unlike his other productions, Arrington will allow his audiences a moment to hear from just him.
"I am going to stop in the middle of the play as the author, director and creator and tell stories from the past," he said. "I have some pretty funny things that have happened to me. Then I will have a question-and-answer time. It will be fun."
What Arrington really wants folks to know, especially those who have seen it before, is he is giving the Farleys a whole new look. Now, that doesn't mean that Aunt Pearl, Heber or Qweezel Dean will change, but the show will be refreshing, Arrington said.
This time those attending are going to find out important things, like how many potato chips have been consumed over the past 25 years, how many prayers little Tiffany has given and more.
"It will a be a real celebratory feeling," Arrington said. With about 30 characters, Arrington's party could become a free-for-all. At one time it was a two-person show, with some "reunions" lasting only one season, like "Farley Family Reunion II: The Next Gyration."
Some of the most-loved characters will be there and will always be a part of the production, including Aunt Pearl, Uncle Heber, Grandpa, Fayreen the cheerleader, Qweezel Dean the wrestler and little Tiffany with the big prayers.
"Then there's Vonelle (the lounge singer), the most dangerous character I do," Arrington smirked, "and Aunt Viola (she sings, too). She can break glass just from her vibrato and rising temperature."
After doing it for so long, most folks would think Arrington can just pick up and run with it — not really. "I have to say it becomes harder to do. People want to see it, even after 25 years, they still want to," Arrington said. "It's kind of taken over my life."
Arrington, trained as a character actor, started performing as the Farley family during impromptu skits for friends and over time developed a repertoire of characters. Arrington plays the part of each cast member including men, women and children. He has minimal costume changes but transforms easily from person to person.
While he isn't giving out too much information, the thought has occurred that one day there may one day be another production that might be called "The Farley Family Funeral."
Until then the family is intact and ready to party.
If you go . . .
What: "25 Strange Years of The Farley Family Reunion"
Where: Utah Valley State College Orem campus, in the courtyard by the student center
When: Sept. 16, 17, 19, 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m.
How much: Prices vary