The Women: Shorewood Players Infuse Life to a Classic
The Women, a classic 20th century drama/comedy, tells the story of a group of women and their relationships with men and each other in a pre-feminist world. The current Shorewood Players production is like a championship sporting event, with cheers for each successful move. The production is a fundraiser for Gilda’s Club a support group for people touched by cancer.
The play centers on Mary Haines, a 30-something housewife of an unseen business executive, and her catty clique of friends. What unfolds is a steady transformation of this sympathetic character from a blindly trusting wife, to a victim, to a player, and finally to a strategist and competitor in the blood sport of love and marriage.
The play at its center a women’s show. All 22 actors in the production are women, ranging from pre-teen to grandparent. The core of the ensemble is women in their 20s through middle age. Through the bridge games, shopping sprees and exercise sessions, they lament their tedious lives and share the gossip of marriage, love, extra-marital affairs, and their snide impressions of any absent members of the clan.
Mary is triumphantly portrayed by Lisa Lien, a 1990 Shorewood High School graduate and off-Broadway veteran, making her return to the Shorewood stage. She is a match for the demanding role, developing nuance through the various life transitions. She plays a loving and guiding mother to Little Mary (Emily Pogorelc), the wounded daughter looking for comfort and advice from her mother (Joan End), and the wise friend who manages to stay above the fray.
The sisterhood is comprised of arrogant aristocrat Sylvia (Katrina Greguska), under-appreciated author Nancy (Robyn Starkey), newlywed Peggy (Stacy Goodreau), perpetual new mother Edith (Liz Getschow) and Vanities beauty Miriam (Liv Mueller). Watch as they lunge and parry through life, one-upping each other at every opportunity.
As Mary’s competition Crystal, Kelly Simon is Mary’s opposite: brash and selfish where Mary is subdued and selfless. Simon’s conniving portrayal is convincing. Notable performances are also delivered by Pattie Beam as the clueless Countess, and Wendy Pelsis as hick innkeeper Lucy.
Director Carol Zippel drew engaging performances from these and other members of the talented ensemble. The crisp staging surpasses the norm for community theatre. The apt style of the 1960’s costumes set the tone for the upper-crust characters.
Performances continue through January 25.
Fridays and Saturdays: Jan. 23, 24 at 7:30 pm
Sundays: Jan. 25 at 2:00 pm
Oakland & Capitol Drive
To reserve tickets call 414-737-3421
For more information, visit shorewoodplayers.org <http://www.shorewoodplayers.org/>