Spoof puts a killer spin on Southfork

Jesse Nichols of McKinney wrote the spoof of the popular television drama Dallas. He also will play both the family’s patriarch and matriarch. Mr. Nichols said that, without giving away any juicy details, the audience will see the villainous J.R. Uring receiving his just desserts.

“You just know that J.R. is going to get it in a unique way,” Mr. Nichols said.

John Brady, who will play J.R., does not hold out much hope for his character’s longevity.

“Everyone must give their all for the theater,” Mr. Brady said with a laugh. “My future looks sad.”

This marks the 26th play written by Mr. Nichols, who retired after a career in the radio business. Mr. Nichols also plays historic figures including Mark Twain and Collin McKinney, whom Collin County and McKinney are named after.

Mr. Nichols said he prefers having fresh material for the theater audience. Those audiences often participate in the plays. But just like the comedic mysteries he writes, the source of those parodies is also a bit of a mystery to Mr. Nichols.

“I have no idea where I get them,” Mr. Nichols said. “They just click in my mind. The ideas kind of come out of nowhere when I write them, and I don’t have any idea about what is going to happen.”

Mr. Nichols started the theater group in 1993, and most of the cast members are regulars.

“We prefer people who have improvisation experience because the plays are going to be mostly improv,” he said. “I write a script word for word, but if you think anyone follows it …”

Mr. Brady, who works as a software developer, has acted in various community theater presentations for more than 10 years. But he said that acting with Mr. Nichols and the others in the group is much more fun.

“You get a chance to play with the characters,” Mr. Brady said. “The audience is laughing. And you are laughing.”

Mr. Nichols has acted with other area theater groups. He starred in and directed a recent production of The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge with the Frisco Area Children’s Theater. It was performed at the McKinney Performing Arts Center.


David Taylor, director of the center, said Mr. Nichols and the other performers did a great job in what was a delightful presentation of the Mark Brown play.

Mr. Brady said the Little Off the Square shows are likewise enjoyable for audiences.

“I think they are wonderful productions and a great time,” he said. “If you don’t walk away with your sides splitting, you weren’t there.”

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