Two evenings a week since early September, I have been donning the persona of a sweet but feisty southern belle named Sugar Lee Thompkins. Although she and I look a lot alike, Sugar Lee has a more colourful past, a lot more courage when it comes to taking business risks, and a keener interest in helping her friends through their respective crises. I could learn a few things from her, and I hope I do.
Lest you think this columnist has finally fallen off the deep end, I should probably explain that Sugar Lee and her friends, Carlene (Rosa Albanese Rawlings), Nita (Laurel Giesbrecht), Mavis (Connie Krawec), and Crystal (Nita Wiebe) reside in Eden Falls, Georgia and are becoming known as The Halleluiah Girls, also the name of a play coming to the William Glesby Centre November 16-19, courtesy of The Prairie Players.
If you enjoyed The Dixie Swim Club in 2009, you won't want to miss this play by the same playwrights, Jones, Hope, and Wooten. As these women attempt to transform an old abandoned church into a top-notch day spa, hilarious hurdles pop up everywhere. You will love hating their nemesis, Bunny Sutherland (Lisa Marie Tessier), hoot with the unannounced arrival of a long lost love, Bobby Dwayne Dillahunt (Kevin Hamm), and howl at the bravado of mama's boy Porter Padgett (Chris Kitchen).
This play has something for everyone: mid-life epiphanies, music, romance, explosions, rejection, revenge, heartache, an ego massage, wild costumes, and side-splitting comedy. You'll get to be part of a year in the life of these high-spirited women as they help one another fix their lives while there's still time.
Terry Tully, a veteran member of the company, is the capable director of this piece. I asked him what makes this the best cast he has ever had the privilege of working with, bar none. A leading question, you say? Tully, who admits he once went a full two minutes without making a movie reference, handled it with tact:
"A famous director, Harold Clurman, was once asked what made him such a good director. He replied that 'With a good script and a good cast, you too can be a good director.' I know that this is one of those times when I will come out looking good. We have a great script and a dream cast. This will be a great play."
If you want to see the play only, you can do so for just $13 but you must go on Wednesday night. If you want to enjoy a fabulous chicken and ribs dinner with your entertainment, you can go Thursday, Friday, or Saturday for $40 a ticket.