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Battle royale

Peachtree Playhouse's social satire extented again

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The Battle never seems to end at Peachtree Playhouse, which has extended the run of its production of the Southern family comedy Peachtree Battle for a third time. Co-written by Playhouse founders Anthony Morris and John Gibson, Battle opened Sept. 7 and will run until Feb. 24 -- at least. "We've had successful shows before, but this one is selling faster," says Morris. "Every show since October has been sold out. If the trend continues, we will definitely extend again."

Morris attributes Peachtree Battle's word-of-mouth success to good timing, good writing and good acting, singling out Deborah Childs in the central role of Buckhead socialite Trudy Habersham, who's distraught at her son's impending wedding to a Hooter's girl -- amid other family melodramas. He says Atlanta families identify with the outlandish events on the stage. "With other plays that we've written, such as the Veranda trilogy, patrons tell us that it's their family up on stage," says Morris. "With Peachtree Battle, no one will admit it's their family on stage, but they 'know' a family just like them."

Currently Morris and Gibson are hoping to open a second theater in Midtown by the fall of 2002. Before Sept. 11, they had planned to follow Battle with their original drama A Place at the Table, but Morris says, "We now have found that comedies are performing better than dramas, so we decided it would be better to follow with another comedy." He adds that the upcoming Southern comedy of Veranda 4 will encompass such current events as cloning and the fight against terrorism.

That is, if Peachtree Battle ever comes to a close.

Peachtree Battle plays through Feb. 24 at Peachtree Playhouse, 878 Peachtree St., Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 7 p.m. $20. 404-875-1193. www.PeachtreePlayhouse.com.

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