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Four Old Broads

a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Leslie Kimbell

COMPANY : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
ID# 5376

SHOWING : October 19, 2018 - October 28, 2018

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Retired Burlesque queen Beatrice Shelton desperately needs a vacation – and NOT another trip up to Helen, Georgia to see that “precious little German village for the umpteenth time.” A Sassy Seniors Cruise through the Caribbean may be just the ticket if she can just convince her best friend Eaddy Mae Clayton to stop praying and go with her.

Unfortunately, things have not been very pleasant at Magnolia Place Assisted Living since Nurse Pat Jones began working there. Newest resident Imogene Fletcher is suddenly losing her memory. Maude Jenkins is obsessed with her favorite soap opera and planning her own funeral. Sam Smith, retired Elvis impersonator, keeps trying to bed every woman in the building.

A mystery unfolds with laughter as the gals try to outsmart evil nurse Pat Jones and figure out why so many residents have been moved to “the dark side”, what exactly IS that mysterious pill and what happened to Doctor Head? Hilarity ensues as Imogene goes undercover and Maude enters the Miss Magnolia Senior Citizen pageant to throw Pat off their trail. If they can solve the mystery, they may make it to the cruise ship after all.


CAST & CREW LIST
Sam Tim Link
Imogene Peggy Marx
Pat Kelsey South
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REVIEWS

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Titillating Crudeness
by playgoer
Sunday, November 18, 2018
3.0
"Four Old Broads" tells the story of four mismatched friends contending with the indignities of life in an assisted living residence -- a residence where administrator Pat (Kelsey South) is shady, new employee Ruby Sue (Taryn McFarthing) is a bit mysterious, and where male resident Sam (Tim Link) is lecherous. We have former burlesque queen Beatrice (Cindy Copeland), devout Southern Baptist lady Eaddy (Lynn Harmon), forgetful new resident Imogene on oxygen (Peggy Marx), and slovenly soap opera addict Maude (Linda Oulton). Their interactions are targeted toward low comedy, with lots of inappropriate words and stories and actions. It’s lots of fun, and certainly not aimed at edification.

The set, designed by Paul Thomason, shows a common area of the assisted living home with a sofa flanked by two chairs at center stage, with other furniture arranged against the seafoam green and rose walls (with a floral wallpaper border separating the two colors). Three openings (upstage, right, and left) allow entrances and exits. It’s a very workable set, and Phillip Wray’s lighting design illuminates it nicely, including effective nighttime lighting and a TV viewing effect.

Playwright and director Leslie Kimbell has staged her play to provide a fair amount of activity for a script that relies on conversation more than action in its opening scenes. She has encouraged her cast to bring energy and verve to their characters, which generally makes up for line bobbles and occasionally slow line pickup.

A lot of the visual charm of the production comes from the costumes, which seem largely to have been lifted from Tony Smithey’s drag wardrobe. The cast have supplied some too, as have Billie Nye-Muller and the playwright/director. Maude’s entry into the "Miss Magnolia" contest at the residence provides an excuse for some of the more -- shall we say -- "colorful" outfits, and Sam’s past as an Elvis impersonator provides another.

Performances are all good, making this truly an ensemble show. Everyone gets a chance to shine, and the audience gets lots of opportunities for laugh upon laugh. There are a couple of false endings before the longish (2.5 hour) play comes to an end, setting the stage for upcoming sequel "Four Old Broads on the High Seas." Given audience reaction from the mostly older female audience at Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square, there will be lots of excitement looking forward to the sequel’s production next year at Winder-Barrow Community Theatre.
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