White Sand Entertainment LLC.
With Exec. Producer Ken Denison
Good Ol’ Girls
By Written and Adapted by Paul Ferguson
From the Stories of Lee Smith & Jill McCorkle
Songs by Matraca Berg & Marshall Chapman
Conceived by Matraca Berg
Directed by Randal Myler
Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre/
Black Box Theatre
111 West 46th Street
New York, NY 10036
Lauren Kennedy, Sally Mayes, Teri Ralston,
Gina Stewart, Liza Vann
Set Design: Timothy R. Mackabee
Costume Design: Michael Bevins
Lighting Design: Brian Nason
Sound Design: Lew Mead
Press: Glenna Freedman, Keith Sherman & Assoc.
Production Stage Manager: Jane Pole
Casting: Dave Clemmons Casting
Production Manager: Michael Wade
Aruba Productions, LLC, Ken Denison
Advertising: Eliran Murphy Group, Ltd.
Musical Director: Karen Dryer
Musical Supervision & Additional Orchestrations:
Conductor/Keyboard: Karen Dryer
Guitar: Ralph Agresta
Percussion: Tom Bradford
Keyboard: Kelly Lambert
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 7, 2010
With a cabaret mood and theatrical skits, Good Ol’ Girls has hit the Black Box Theatre with a five-Girl cast and a four Girl-Guy band. Leads Lauren Kennedy, Sally Mayes, and Gina Stewart, with the help of her guitar, plus Teri Ralston and Liza Vann, take us on a quick trip to the North Carolina-South Carolina border, shown on a large scrim map, in front of the rear stage band. The theatre is quite small, with general seating, but I and my guest were early, and we could practically join the action. Paul Ferguson, according to program notes, has re-written the stories and songs of 39 Southern writers into stories and songs for stage shows. Other songwriters and musicians listed in collaboration are Matraca Berg with Marshall Chapman, plus Keith Levenson.
The songs are designed for a female audience, and there were very few men in sight for this Sunday matinee. The women loved the lyrics, especially songs relating to unruly men, alcoholic men, abusive men, and passionate men, although the latter were viewed as blips on the radar. There were songs about mothers, and songs about daughters, songs about booze, and songs about blues, songs about diamonds, and songs about debt. “All I Want Is Everything” and “Bad Debt” ran the gamut of the single woman’s lament. The opening title number, “Good Ol’ Girls”, sung by the full cast, reminded me of a trip to Nashville, where everything is relaxed and rocking. Lauren Kennedy’s (the youthful Gal of the bunch) “Lying to the Moon” was personal and heartfelt. Sally Mayes, as a hairdresser, led Teri Ralston, and Liza Vann in “Back When We Were Beautiful”. Ms. Mayes also told about applying her mother’s makeup and fixing her hair for the coffin.
There are memory scenes of a nursing home and memory scenes of childbirth, all told and sung with wistful, wishful sentiment. However, “Booze In Your Blood”, sung and played by spunky Gina Stewart and the cast, shifted the mood and got the audience bouncing about. Ms. Mayes and Stewart have refined, mature vocals, while Ms. Kennedy sings with youthful spirit. These are Gals joined at the hip, and when the show is over you expect them to swig the onstage beer bottles.
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