Clair Boothe Luce’s 1930’s classic comedy is a favorite for theatre and film buffs alike. Beginning this Fri., Nov.4, a local production directed and produced by Lee Colee’ and presented by The Black Diamond Cabaret Theatre, will be performed the next three consecutive Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. in the historic 1910 Room of the Price Center in downtown San Marcos.
Many may recall the film, which starred Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford along with a very young Lucille Ball. Both the play and film showcased the wit and style of its day and still stands up today as a delicious commentary on the lives and friendships of women everywhere.
Although set in the aristocratic society of New York’s 1930’s era, the struggles, loyalties and life’s many other challenges are portrayed with witty affection for all of the ladies. From the society mavens and opportunistic “home wreckers” to the hired help, the all female cast includes 34 actresses ranging in age from 9 to over 70 years of age.
“This is a wonderful estrogen fest for our female patrons but the men will certainly be laughing at the discovery of what happens when they are not around as well as enjoying the gorgeous eye candy of beautiful women in glamorous 1930’s fashions,” said Colee. “Cat fights, losing a man, society’s expectation of women, friendships, and hard earned wisdom are all part of the plot so audiences will end up rooting for every single one of the women -- even the villain,” she added.
The cast was carefully selected and includes some of the hill country’s best professional stage and film actresses as well as local talent appearing regularly at various community theatres and Austin venues. Judith Laird, a Texas icon beloved in all theatre circles heads the cast as Sylvia who would be labeled a “frenemy” in today’s culture. Ellen Massey,a professional character actress on stage and in film, plays the double roles of the Countess and Maggie and the cook with hilarious skill. Deanna Lalich, another professional actress and teacher takes on the role of Crystal, the tramp who steals a husband. Mary Kay Rabe, a wonderfully accomplished performer from Victoria, TX takes on the double roles of Mrs. Moorehead, an aristocratic matriarch and Lucy, the salt of the earth blue collar resort caretaker in Reno who
nursemaids new divorcees. Colorful and beautiful Sarah St. Claire is Miriam, the Broadway star and Mary Arispe, a superb vocalist and actress from Wimberley, plays Nancy the writer and intellectual. The ensemble also includes Jenny Leidecker as Mary, the scorned wife, Ainsley Gamble as Mary’s maid, Bree Crowder as Peggy, the newlywed,Tamara Keithley as the always pregnant Edith, with the youngest role of Little Mary being double cast with Natalie Veech and Rowan Leidecker. Rounding out the cast is Marilyn Banta as a society maven and sales ladies, secretaries, exercise instructors, beauty shop employees and servants are Makayla Williams, Evie Williams, Kaelee Crowder, Sydney McKinney, Alden Epps, Camerin Salazar, Elizabeth Armer, Tiara Terrell and Carson Ramsey.
“The Women,” along with “A Christmas Cabaret,” coming to the Price Center in December, will mark the end of the 2016 season for the Black Diamond Cabaret Theatre. Local businesses have supported the past five seasons of Black Diamond productions by participating in the “Break a Leg” campaign which provides theatre tickets to our local wounded veterans. This year’s Break A Leg sponsors include Broadway Bank and The Silver Hammer as well as The Price Center. Tickets for “The Women,” are available online at www.blackdiamondshows.com. The box office can be reached at 512-847-7934.
For more information the Price Center programs and services, please stop by 222 W. San Antonio St. Mon. – Fri., 9-5 p.m., call 512-392-2900 or visit price-center.org.