Sunday, May 26, 2013

SceneAroundTown... Claire Booth Luce's "The Women"... Theatre West

Heather Alyse Becker and Maria Kress....  Photo by Thomas Mikusz

Caitlin Gallogly...  Photo by Thomas Mikusz

Cast of  Theatre West's "The Women"... Photo by Thomas Kinusz 

Theatre West's latest production transports audiences winningly back to the 1930's via Claire Booth Luce's comedic satire "The Women" gamely directed by Arden Teresa Lewis.  The story is about a circle of several affluent Manhattan society women and their far from healthy and far from perfect relationships with each other and their men though no men appear in the production.  The hired help in their lives at their homes, salons and stores are also featured prominently and often show better judgement, kindness and good will than they do. Likable Maria Kress stars as Mary Haines, a lovely, sensible happily married wife and mother.  Happy that is until her scheming bitter friend Sylvia Fowler (Leona Britton) bragging about her "jungle red" nail polish sets her up with well meaning but gossiping manicurist Olga (Heather Alyse Becker) to find out her husband is cheating on her with conniving gold digger shop girl Crystal Allen (Caitlin Gallogly).  The women love their "jungle red" nails and love to use them to claw at each other.  It's hard for them to fathom the idea of a shop girl like Crystal getting her claws into someone like Stephen Haines and moving into their social class.  Mary's mother (Sandra Tucker) advises her to turn the other eye and ignore the affair just as she did when she found out her husband had a mistress years before.  Mary can't believe that her own father cheated on her mother and for a while goes along with her mother's advice to ignore the situation.  That is until the sparks fly when Mary and Crystal meet shopping at the ritzy department store they both patronize.  Idealistic Mary believes that she must file for divorce and then her husband will come to his senses and come back to her but in time she finds out that "Reno's full of women who love their pride".  Kudos to the talented cast and crew on a very entertaining show. "The Women" features beautiful sets and costumes by David Offner and Valerie Miller respectively and plays until June 16th.  Visit for details.        

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