Little Theatre Group To Unveil ‘Calendar Girls’

February 13, 2009

The Little Theatre Group (LTG), San José’s longstanding English-language theater troupe, is getting set to “reveal” itself in its upcoming production, “Calendar Girls.” The play was adapted from the 2003 movie for the stage by LTG’s Caroline Kennedy, who is directing the production.

As the story unfolds, a group of Yorkshire housewives decides to raise enough money to purchase a couch for the family waiting room of the local cancer hospital in memory of the recently departed husband of one of their number, by selling Women’s Institute calendars.

For those non-Brits who may not have heard of it, the Women’s Institute, or WI, is that peculiarly British institution of very proper matrons devoted to “enlightenment, fun and friendship,” to quote one of the leading characters.

This group of middle-aged housewives is a disparate bunch, from the stuffy head of the local WI branch to Chris, the rebellious and unconventional best friend of the recently bereaved Annie.

Chris, played by LTG veteran Vicky Longland, bullies, wheedles and coaxes the ladies into posing topless for the WI calendar with the assurance it will “all be aboveboard” and not show “any of the nasty bits.” Annie, the widow, is played by LTG newcomer Karen Rae. These two main characters are supported by a cast of village women as well as two husbands, several wannabe photographers and a professional photographer. An ingenious set has been devised for the open stage by renowned artist and longtime Costa Rica resident Deirdre Hyde.

The “Calendar Girls” cast plans to perform its own good work by donating all proceeds from a March 1 matinee performance to help victims of the Jan. 8 earthquake northwest of the capital. The special price for this performance will be ¢10,000 ($18) per seat. LTG urges the public to support this benefit effort to help those who have lost their homes, businesses and possessions.

The production runs for four weekends, Feb. 27 to March 22, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m., at the Laurence Olivier Theater off Paseo Colón, at Avenida 2, Calle 28, next to Sala Garbo. Parking lots are 25 meters west and 75 meters east, across the street from the theater.

For reservations, call 8355-1623 or visit www.littletheatregroup.org.

–Phil Copeland

 

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