Vienna Theatre Company Opens “The Hallelujah Girls” Tonight by Jocelyn Steiner

An Evening of Fun and Southern Hospitality You Won’t Want to Miss:
Vienna Theatre Company Presents The Hallelujah Girls

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If you’re in the mood for a touching, homespun, often hilarious and light-hearted evening of fun with a group of down-home Southern Belles, then head on over to the Vienna Theatre Company’s production of The Hallelujah Girls – opening TONIGHT – April 19th. 

Sugar Lee Thompkins (Edye Smith), proprietor of Spa-Dee-Dah! Day Spa, in the sleepy town of Eden Falls, Georgia, and her lifelong girlfriends, Carlene (Tina Anderson), Nita (Meg Hoover) and Mavis (Carole Preston), will welcome you with the kind of hospitality reminiscent of the Southern warmth of Steel Magnolias, The Dixie Swim Club, and The Golden Girls.  And Crystal (Janice Zucker) keeps everyone entertained with her holiday outfits and wacky renditions of Christmas Carols tailored to commemorate every holiday from Halloween to the 4th of July!  You might even manage to squeeze in a facial or pedicure, amidst the Friday-night gatherings and gossip sessions.

The cast of 'The Hallekujah Gilrs.' Photo courtesy of Vienna Theatre Company.
The cast of ‘The Hallekujah Girls.’ Photo courtesy of Vienna Theatre Company.

The old, renovated church-turned-day-spa sets the scene and is the result of Sugar Lee’s enduring dream to open a day spa. After what would seem to have been a never-ending succession of disappointments, including being jilted by her teenage sweetheart, Bobby Dwayne (Nick Matich), Sugar Lee realizes her dream, and creates a haven where she, Carlene, Nita, Mavis and Crystal can trade wisdom, gossip, wisecracks and heartache. Of course Sugar Lee’s plans are muddled when Bobby Dwayne turns up and offers his handyman services for some much-needed repairs at the spa. Rounding out this zany bunch of characters are Porter Padget (James Ginther), the local postal worker and love-interest, who happens to live with his mother, and the town’s prima donna, Bunny Sutherland, the nauseatingly saccharin-sweet “Georgia Peach,” and the girls’ arch-nemesis, who is determined to ruin Sugar Lee’s last hope for success.

The cast of 'The Hallelujah Girls.' Photo courtesy of Vienna Theatre Company.
The cast of ‘The Hallelujah Girls.’ Photo courtesy of Vienna Theatre Company.

Although this comedy isn’t well known in the area, Director Adriana Hardy was drawn to the script because of its strong, female-led ensemble of characters over the age of 50 who are just as tenacious, unyielding and energetic as anyone.  Hardy, having herself grown up in a small town, also related to the characters who, for the most part, had lived in the same town and remained close friends since grade school.  Hardy understood the closeness that exists between lifelong friends, who have remained in touch over the decades. Finally, Hardy admired the actual writing itself, and through an exercise with her actors, Hardy came to understand the script as something more than “a joyful comedy designed to provide an evening’s entertainment.” Together, they would describe the essence of the play as being about small pleasures, moving on, growing up, forgiveness, optimism, empowerment, second chances, and of course, Love.

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The Hallelujah Girls, a Jones Hope Wooten comedy, produced by Bill Mullins, will be presented by the Vienna Theatre Company, opening April 19 and running three weekends with Friday and Saturday evening performances at 8:00pm and Sunday matinées on 4/28 and 5/5 at 2:00 pm.

Performances are at the Vienna Community Center – 120 Cherry Street, in Vienna, VA. Tickets can be purchased at the Community Center before the performance you wish to attend OR may be reserved in advance by sending an email to [email protected] at least 2 hours before showtime. Visit VTC’s website for more information.


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