Reviewed by Paula Citron
Mirvish Productions/Manitoba Theatre Centre
Written by Tim Firth (based on the film written by Firth and Juliette Towhidi)
Directed by Marti Maraden
Performed by Fiona Reid, Fiona Highet, Kathryn Akin, Terri Cherniack, Barbara Gordon, Brigitte Robinson and Jane Spence
Royal Alexandra Theatre
Apr. 15 to May 28, 2011
Calendar Girls is a pleasant diversion. There’s only one problem. The heavy north of England accents make some of the dialogue impenetrable. In fact, during intermission, there were a lot of complaints.
It’s really too bad, because the story is uplifting. Based on the 2003 film, which in turn, is based on a true event, Calendar Girls is about a group of middle age women who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for cancer research and became an overnight sensation.
The cast is a veritable who’s who of top Canadian talent led by Fiona Reid and Fiona Highet. The dialogue is snappy. The show has heart.
Director Marti Maraden concentrates on individualizing the characters, while Robert Jones’ set suitably evokes the run down church hall where the women meet.
Worth the price of admission are the scenes where the women are posing for their pictures. It is laugh out loud funny.
Calendar Girls continues at the Royal Alexandra Theatre until May 28.