This play based on a book from the 1920’s is about bored Brit housewives escaping to a holiday sans hubbies, and how what could have been a riotous undertaking evolves into finding solace and rebuilding of relationships.
Lotty (Barbara Cole Uterhardt) and Rose (Emma Greene) are a couple of pretty prim church ladies who find an advert for a vacation rental of a castle in Italia. They’re stuck in unrewarding unions with Mellersh (J. Michael Carroll) and Frederick (Charlie Miller). They decide to go with the idea, but they want to bring another couple of ladies on board to fill up the rooms and share the costs. So Lady Caroline (Henley Slepyan) and grumpy Mrs. Graves (Patty Guenthner) round out the temporary sorority.
Mellersh is a control freak type who wants a fully subordinated woman as his wife. He’s a egomaniac solicitor. And speaking of soliciting; Frederick is a writer who is doing some works using a nom de plume, and used the alias when he met up with one of the other 3 ladies at a book signing, clueless that he may wind up in the same scene with both his wife and his wanna-be.
The play is pretty slow moving in Act I as the stark set serves as a background for fast shifts through several venues as these ladies make their escape plans. Then, in Act II we find a nice set on the patio of the Castle overlooking the Mediterranean and the domestic, Costanza (Rebecca Lilak Sorrells), tries to handle this bunch of weirdos. The property owner (Jeffrey Allen Sneed) shows up, and he finds some interesting eye candy there. But, when Lotty and Rose decide to implore their others to come join the gang, you expect all hell to break loose, in a Moliere fashion. But, it doesn’t quite work that way. This one is not quite a Shirley Valentine story. As each of the women finds satisfaction in manners they might never have imagined, and all comes out right in the end.
Directed by Jeffrey Brown, the cast does a fine job and they’ve done well with the lines in Italian. If you’ve seen one of the films you know where it’s going, but the play takes longer to get there. The performances are only Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. More info an tickets at OnstageAtlanta.com