Quote of the Day: Abandon the cultural myth that all female friendships must be bitchy, toxic, or competitive. This myth is like heels and purses – pretty but designed to SLOW women down. Roxane Gay
Five Women Wearing the Same Dress written by Alan Ball, directed by Michael Sander, is the latest Brainerd Community Theatre Production in the intimate Dryden Theatre at Central Lakes College. It’s a look at women’s relationships which is more Roxane Gay than Jane Austen. While it has the same female friendship feel as Steel Magnolias, the subject matter is quite different. I felt a bit like the nosy aunt hiding behind the door eavesdropping on these five young ladies as they bash the bride, reveal secrets, discuss men, and do each other’s make-up. Mixed into some funny lines and racy language are some pretty serious topics. This is an adult-themed show.
The best part about watching this show is the dynamics between the five women playing the five bridesmaids. The cast includes Lauren Wisely as Frances (cousin of the bride) Nicole Rothleutner as Meredith (sister of the bride) Maren Goff as Trisha (friend of the bride) Rachael Kine as Georgeanne (friend of the bride) Stepanie White as Mindy (sister of the groom) and Jesse Brutscher as Tripp (friend of the groom). This ensemble cast seems comfortable with each other, playing well off each other’s lines and movements, while becoming succinctly their own characters. Each one has her shining moments, funny lines, and story. I like the set up of this play. The characters enter one at a time, revealing a little about themselves and their relationship to one another and the bride. They look ridiculous in their puffy peach matching dresses, yet each wears it, or doesn’t, in her own way. While I think some of the language is gratuitous and used for shock value, I appreciate the candidness that the characters can show in the intimate confines of Meredith’s bedroom.
You can see Five Women Wearing the Same Dress at CLC through March 3, 2018. Showtimes are at 7:30, February 22-24, March 1-2, and a 2:00 matinee on March 3. Come early to view John Erickson’s photo display of rehearsal shots of this play, as well as a few from this past fall’s production of Woman in Black. The photos in the hallway lobby help to set the mood for the experience of watching these plays.
The production team: Michael Sander directs this show, Marc Oliphant as Stage Manager, George Marsolek as Set Designer (nicely done), Sharon Harley as Costume Designer (was is hard to make ugly dresses?) Ben Kent as Lighting Designer, and Patrick Spradlin as BCT Director.
This play is in the Dryden, black box, theatre. I recommend sitting in the center section, or to the right, as you’re looking at the stage, along the opposite wall of where you enter. Although all seats are good, I felt I missed some visual effects and expressions when they have scenes facing “out the window” to that section of the audience.
You can read more about this show and its cast in this article in the Brainerd Dispatch. Tickets are available from the CLC Theatre Box Office at 218-855-8199 or online at Central Lakes Performing Arts. The Dryden is a small theatre with limited seating. Arrive early, they won’t seat late-comers until intermission.
It feels right to bookend this post with quotes by female authors on friendship:
Women understand. We may share experiences, make jokes, paint pictures, and describe humiliations that mean nothing to men, but women understand. The odd thing about these deep and personal connections of women is that they often ignore barriers of age, economics, worldly experience, race, culture – all the barriers that, in male or mixed society, had seemed so difficult to cross. Gloria Steinem
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: Describe your best friend.