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The Women: A Complex Show, both Funny and Serious

By • Sep 16th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of The Women as performed by the Greenbelt Arts Center [MP3 3:31 1.3MB].

Laura: We saw the opening night performance of The Women performed by the Greenbelt Arts Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Mike: The Women is a play written by Clare Booth Luce. It takes place in the 1930’s. It’s the story of a group of women who are very close friends. It talks about their relationships with their husbands and other men. And their relationships with each other. One of the characters discovers her husband is having an affair and how she deals with it is the focal point of the story.

Laura: Overall, I liked the show. The acting was a bit uneven. For the most part everyone worked well together. They got along, well, like women do. Sometimes really close and sometimes rather catty.

Mike: This was a good show. It was a complex show to put together, partially because of the large cast. There were 25 different parts and 17 different actresses playing those parts. There were two acts. The show is about three hours long with one intermission. There were a lot of scenes in each of the acts. It was a lot of different pieces to put together for the show.

Laura: One of my favorite characters was Sylvia Fowler played by Claire G. Williams. She did a really good job. She over acted, but it was part of her character to be rather flamboyant and over dramatic. She played that really well and I think the audience really enjoyed it. She got a lot of laughs.

Mike: The main character in the show was Mary Haines, played by Jill E. Goodrich. She had a complex part in that she at times had to be very doting on her husband, who was never seen, and then at times she had to be really angry with him. Then she had to be unsure how she she felt about him and men in general. She had a very wide range of emotions that she brought out. She did a really good job with that.

Laura: Another actress that I really liked was Crystal Allen played by Dena Colvin. She was the “other woman” in this show. she played kind of the villainess. She and Mary Haines had a scene together at the end that was really powerful and had a lot of emotion.

Mike: The opening scene of the play set the tone for the entire show. The four different actresses were playing Bridge and then the maid came in and then the main character, Mary Haines came in. They had a really nice, conversation shall we say. They were gossiping about each other and telling stories and complaining. It seemed very realistic. It was the 1930’s.

Laura: The costumes, I thought, were very good. They weren’t overly flashy, but they came across with the style of the 1930’s. The hats that the women wore and the gloves that they put on when they went out I thought were very appropriate for the time period.

Mike: The Greenbelt Arts Center Theatre is a theater in the round. The audience sits on three sides of the performing area. The way they did that for this show was they put the entire set for this show up on a giant lazy susan. They would rotate the set for different scenes. Unfortunately, since they had a total of 12 different scenes they had to do, there were a lot of props and set pieces that had to go on and off that stage area. Sometimes there was a very awkward transition. There was one scene in the second act that took about five minutes. That really killed the flow of the show. Hopefully now that they’ve done it for real, tonight was opening night, they will hopefully be a little bit quicker in the future on that. The set itself was adequate. It was simple because they didn’t have a lot of space to work with. They also had lots of levels. There was a series of steps that went up about three feet above the main platform that rotated. So sometimes different characters were on different heights. So that worked ok. It wasn’t too distracting.

Laura: The Women is playing through October 7th at the Greenbelt Arts Center in Greenbelt Maryland. Once you’ve seen the show, please feel free to leave your comments.

Mike: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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