If you live within 50 kilometers of Dundas, Ontario, you should make every effort you can to go see Dundas Little Theatre’s production of Calendar Girls by Tim Firth. Heck, even if you live 100km away, it would be worth the trip to go see this excellent production.
Many people have seen the movie, starring Helen Mirren and Julie Waters, that this play is based on. But like Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling, I think the play version of Calendar Girls is much more effective than the film. At it’s heart, this story is about the relationships of women. And this play explores those relationships beautifully.
Full disclosure: I’m married to Deb Dagenais (”THE Deb Dagenais”) who plays Annie in this production. Yes, I think Deb’s incredible in this show; so will you, if you see it. But everyone is wonderful. This production is one of those rare beasts where everything is great: directing, acting, production, and crew.
Kudos to director, Jo Skilton. First, she assembled an excellent cast. And second, she obviously put in much effort in the rehearsal process to make the show work. I was there on Opening Night and the show flowed effortlessly. It takes a lot of work to make something look effortless.
The whole cast is great, but special mention needs to be made of the Calendar Girls, themselves. Besides Deb as Annie, Christine Hopkins as Chris, Ilene Elkaim as Celia, Elaine Hale as Ruth, Kelly Newton Kimpton as Cora, and Judian as Jessie are all marvelous. They have a wonderful camaraderie together. Each one shines and brings their characters to life.
The pivotal scene where the ladies take their famous photos for the calendar is fun and tasteful. There are a lot of moving parts and they make it run smoothly. Everyone is at ease and is having a grand old time.
I was surprised by how moving I found the show. I teared up a few times. And there’s laughter and drama too. This show has it all!
But like the bloom of a flower, this production is short lived. You only have until May 12, 2019 to catch it. This show has been put on by various groups and will likely be put on again, but trust me, you want to see this production! Don’t miss it. Details for the show are below: