By Megan Mooney
Calendar Girls, playing at Mirvish’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, is a touching play about an amazing group of women who take their clothes off for a good cause.
My show-partner John and I both enjoyed the piece, it was lovely. And, in case lovely scares you off, it was also very funny.
I can’t imagine why anyone would, but just in case, don’t go to this show expecting cutting edge avant-gard theatre. This is an uplifting story, it’s classically staged, and there is nothing particularly challenging about it. Which sometimes is exactly what the doctor ordered.
John and I both agreed that we most enjoyed the awkward but empowering nude photo shoots. There were a lot of laughs to be had, but also a lot of proud smiles too. We also both felt like the beginning of the piece dragged a bit. I will admit to being a bit worried when the show started that I wasn’t going to like it, and I certainly felt the second act was stronger than the first. I couldn’t pin my finger on it, but John said something interesting. He felt that the beginning seemed like exposition they were trying to get through and he was having trouble being emotionally invested.
I think he may have been on to something, and things certainly did pick up a lot after the extended exposition bits. John said he kind of wished it had been rewritten as a play, and that it felt a little bit like it was staging of the movie. It may have solved the slow beginning issue a bit if it was, and, since it’s based on a true story the original source material is there to work from.
That said, it was a heartwarming evening and I was glad to have spent it with those incredible women. In fact, I was lucky enough to watch the piece with the original “calendar girls” of 1999 who the movie and play were based on. A privilege to share the room with such amazing women.
So, if you’re looking for a lovely, uplifting and funny play, look no further. Calendar Girls is the play for you.
– Calendar Girls runs from April 15 – May 28 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King St W)
– Show times are Tuesday – Saturday at 8:00 PM, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM (Added performance on Thursday May 26, at 2:00 PM)
– Ticket prices are $30.00 – $94.00, and are available online at www.mirvish.com orby calling 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333
Photograph of the company of Calendar Girls by Bruce Monk