Evelyn C. McDonald
Arts & Culture Reporter
February 28, 2022
Last Friday is the closest I’ve come since March 2020 to feeling I’m in normal times. Sitting in the Amelia Community Theatre (ACT), I realized the last time I had been in such as setting was in a Broadway theatre waiting for the curtain to rise on “Moulin Rouge.” It was a good feeling to be sitting next to friends and the feeling got even better when the play started.
“The Hallelujah Girls” is a warm and funny take on a group of Southern women in a small town. It had the Southern stereotypes done well with ditzy Crystal, conniving Bunny, wise-cracking Mavis, put upon Nita, black widow Carlene, and heart of gold Sugar Lee. Sugar Lee decides to buy an old church and start a spa business. The play follows her and the rest of the women as they decide to take charge of their lives.
The cast was perfect for the play. Just when I decided my favorite was sharp tongued Mavis, Crystal appeared in a statue of Liberty outfit and stole the scene. A word on Crystal – she loves holidays and dresses up appropriately for everything from New Year’s to Groundhog Day. And she adapts Christmas carols to suit the different holidays and any other thing she wants to commemorate. In Crystal’s hands, ” O Come All Ye Faithful” is re-purposed as “O come get a facial” to promote Sugar Lee’s spa.
The evil nemesis is Bunny, determined to put the spa out of business so she can buy the building. She wants to tear it down and build a museum, dedicated generally to herself and her view of the town. Her character must be a challenge to portray. You have to admire the silky menace in her voice and manner, all the while disliking her.
And yes, there are two men in the play. One is a good old boy and the other a mama’s boy. The two men hold their own and that must be a challenge as well, given the talents of the rest of the cast.
Thank you, ACT, cast, director and crew, for giving me a welcome evening of laughter. And the opportunity to feel closer to normal than I have for some time.