The Missoula Community Theatre stages “Calendar Girls,” based on a true story, Jan. 17-27 at MCT Center for the Performing Arts.
“The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire. Every stage of their growth has its own beauty, but the last phase is always the most glorious.”
This line from “Calendar Girls” is true of both flowers and the colorful characters in this story that took place in the 1990s in the United Kingdom. It reveals that sometimes, out of tragedy, comes the most unexpected real-life comedy.
After losing her husband to leukemia, Annie and her best friend, Chris, decide to create a fundraising calendar to raise money to replace the old, uncomfortable couch in the hospital waiting room. The effort raises eyebrows as well as funds.
Pushing boundaries of bravery, friendship and British sensibility, “Calendar Girls” is powerful, hilarious, and best enjoyed by a mature audience. (Suggested rating is PG13 for a bit of language and the modest suggestion of nudity).
“As in the best traditions of vaudevillian fan dances, the art of the play’s nudity lies in what is withheld … best described as ‘fabulous concealment,’” writes playwright Tim Firth about the scene in which the calendar photographs are taken. “Should we see anything we oughtn’t, the whole scene will deflate like a soufflé on which the oven door has been opened too quickly.”
The show’s director, Teresa Waldorf, compares this production to 2017’s “Over the River and Through the Woods,” which she also directed for MCT. “Once again, the storyline and the characters are something I feel a real connection to. We hope that you’ll connect, too, as you come walk in their shoes on this journey of love and laughter.”
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 17-27. Tickets are available at MCTinc.org; by calling 406-728-PLAY (7529); or at the MCT Box Office, which is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.