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Designing Women LIVE, Volume Four
a Drag Parody
by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, adapted by Topher Payne

COMPANY : The Process Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Onstage Atlanta, Inc. (Decatur) [WEBSITE]
ID# 4053

SHOWING : August 11, 2011 - August 14, 2011



The Designing Women of Sugarbaker' onstage, portrayed by a cast of men. With two brand new stage adaptations!

Foreign Affairs: Suzanne receives a letter from the INS saying that her maid Consuela's work permit has expired, and unless she can qualify for a green card or US citizenship, she will be deported. Suzanne doesn't think Consuela can pass the test, so she pays Anthony to impersonate her.

The Rowdy Girls: Charlene's cousin Mavis coaches the ladies for an upcoming talent show, where they will be playing the Supremes. But Charlene uncovers a secret in Mavis's house that forces her to take action. Meanwhile, Julia is appalled by Suzanne's suggestion on how to make them look more like the Supremes.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 5pm.

Stage Manager Betty Mitchell
Charlene Stillfield Frankie Asher
Mavis Mattling / Janis Amanda Cucher
Mary Jo Shively Johnny Drago
No Lips Bobbie Elzey
Mr. Trumane Charles Green
Suzanne Sugarbaker DeWayne Morgan
Julia Sugarbaker Topher Payne
Anthony Bouvier Spencer G. Stephens
Dan Mattling / Marshal Travis Young
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


On the "D" List
by playgoer
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
"Designing Women" was an entertaining, generally well-written TV sitcom. Using materials from the TV show provides The Process Theatre with a workable script (at least in act one) for the fourth edition of their drag version of "Designing Women."

I didn't see any of the previous three theatrical episodes, so I'm somewhat at a loss as to the appeal that has produced encore after encore. The scripts are better done on TV, and the performances are a LOT better in the original, with the exception of the role of Anthony. Spencer G. Stephens is actually a much better actor than TV's original Anthony, Meshach Taylor. Of the drag roles, only Topher Payne gives what can be called a "performance," endowing Julia Sugarbaker with a straitlaced dignity. The other three men in drag are strident, buffoonish, and dimensionless.

Costumes are great, wigs are acceptable (if underwhelming for DeWayne Morgan's Suzanne Sugarbaker), and the set has a lot of appeal. Vocal projection is great, although a lot of lines get lost in laughter. Musical interludes mimic the intro music of the TV show while giving a little extra time for costume changes. Maybe the costumes are the appeal of the show, along with a bit of nostalgia for the long-ago late 1980's.

I don't really get the point of TV tribute shows, unless the actors do enough of an imitation to suggest the original, while adding a satiric edge that skewers the imitation. Here, there is not much imitation going on, and no satiric edge. We hear funny lines in a vaguely nostalgic environment, but it's not enough to make for a worthwhile night of enjoyment. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
And I couldn't get a seat? by Tally-Ho
The sad thing about it is this is the first one I missed because it sold out before I could make a reservation (my own fault, I know, but I didn't hear it was back until NPR mentioned it). But it does hack me off to know that while I was missing out, playgoer was there, having such a miserable time. Since I didn't see this one, I guess can't say for sure, but I can tell you in the previous three the performances weren't strident and buffonish. It seemed like a loving sendup of a fun show. So I'd be surprised if they completely changed into the show the reviewer described.
by FraggleRock
I'm just amazed that someone would review a fundraiser.....
The little yellow box by NYBound
This is what pops down when you click "comment on review", just fyi: Comments are for discussing aspects of the review in question (ask for clarification of points, discuss a view on an interpretation of the text, note (verifiable) factual errors, etc). TheaterReview will not tolerate ad-hominem attacks on the reviewer, other commenters, or persons involved in the production.

If you disagree with the reviewers opinion in general, better to write your own review stating it than commenting on another.

Things I am trying to avoid here: accusations of association with the production for a "good" review, accusations of a grudge against a person involved in the production for a "bad" review, name-calling, taunting, "You're crazy, that production was great/terrible!", mocking regarding spelling/grammar, and other boorish comments.

Kudos and applause for donating ticket sales to a worthwhile charity. However, a)I think playgoer has every right and reason to state his/her opinions. Playgoer actually says that its a PERSONAL dislike of tribute shows. Praises specific actors (assuming the actors praised are not the ones coming on and bashing a reviewer). I am sure the show is well produced and very entertaining. But its not everyone's cup of tea. Bottom line: relax and take what you wish from people's reviews. At least playgoer is honest & unbiased. I don't think the same can be said about the "comment-ers".
A Fundraiser for What? by playgoer
After searching The Process Theatre's website and finally stumbling across the full press release, I can see that this production is listed as a fundraiser. I did not know when I saw it. I see no charity listed as the recipient of ticket sales, so I don't understand how this production would be different from any other in terms of where the money went. It certainly seemed to be a full production in terms of set, costumes, wigs, and line memorization.
At least you admit that you don't get it... by line!
It's not about trying to put on a flawless tribute to DW, nor is it about presenting a "drag" show.The DW shows are about having fun and raising some money for the theatre. In that regard, they are hugely successful and I hope they will continue to be so.(Even though I will admit that the scripts chosen for this show weren't as strong as past shows). I still had a GREAT time!


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