After catching a play on Friday night …

My weekend went straight downhill! I struggled emotionally with becoming another dreaded year older … and had some sort of a wicked flu bug! A double whammy!

The Women

Production stills by Thomas Mikusz

Cast of “The Women” at Theatre West.

Marriages, divorces, pregnancies, infidelities, gossip sessions, catfights, booze, and tobacco, “fab” fashions, heartbreaks, and romances … and more than a few belly laughs … That’s what you can expect from this comedy “ala femme,” written by Clare Boothe Luce in 1936. After its Broadway run, The Women became a hit film, starring Rosiland Russell, Joan Crawford, and many other notable actresses of the period. The 1930s was a time in history when husbands largely ruled the roost, and wives often hid their feelings, and swept infidelities under the carpet. My how things have changed. We’ve come a long way since then, ladies! Directed with riotously inventive skill and creative staging, by Arden Teresa Lewis (assisted by Lee Meriwether) her large cast fared well in laughably looney depictions! A group of quirky Manhattan high society women discover that their friend Mary (played with heartfelt passion by Maria Kress) is losing her husband to a heartless tart (a despicably sassy Caitlin Gallogly). Mary’s refined mother (a sensational Sandra Tucker) advises her to “close her eyes” to her husband’s heartless behavior, but her lady friend’s opinions vary (Leona Britton, Dianne Travis, Ayn Olivia Vaughan, Anne Leydon, and Lynn Colton … all hilarious!) As Mary tries to deal with her husband’s abandonment, and take care of her young daughter (a sweet Emily Mount) a plethora of insanely funny situations unfold, in the lives of her whacky “gal pals!” The remainder of the artfully ambitious cast includes: Jeanine Anderson, Barbara Mallory, Mary Garripoli, Paula K. Long, Sarah Purdum, Rebecca Lane, Heather Alyse Becker, Melanie Kwiatkowski, and Deborah Webb Thomas. Naming all actors in a cast this large is not usual … but this entire group deserves mention! Creating the mood with exceptional skills … The dozens of Gorgeous Costumes (by Valerie Miller), Constantly Changing set design (by David Offner), Lighting (by Yancey Dunham) and Sound (by David P. Johnson), set the zany tone perfectly. Although this play is undeniably a bit lengthy, and comes from the female viewpoint, I must say that the men in the audience were also falling apart with laughter! For a highly ambitious and most enjoyable vintage “blast to the past,” sure to tickle your fancy … this is the one to catch! Running through June 9 at Theatre West located at 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. (Studio City adjacent). For tickets call (323) 851-7977 or go to theatrewest.org. P.S. The cast jokingly refers to this production as “The Real Housewives of 1936.”

Oops!

In my glowing review last week of Road Theatre’s inaugural production of Cooperstown at their second theatre home, I made an error. I stated that their original theatre location is above The NoHo Arts Center. In fact, it is on Lankershim, above the Lankershim Arts Center. I guess I spaced out!

Sleepless in Seattle – The Musical

Opening June 2 at The Pasadena Playhouse. One of the most beloved “boy meets girl” romantic movies ever … Who doesn’t remember Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s long distance romance in the film? Now presented as a musical (Beth Toth – Composer) it will surely be delightful! I’ll be there opening night, and tell you all about it next week. For tickets call (626) 356-7529.

That’s it for this time … Off to bed now to nurse this unpleasant flu bug!


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