REVIEW: Calendar Girls at Limelight Theatre is a sweet, hilarious crowd-pleaser

Based on the true story of eleven Women Institution (WI) members in Yorkshire, England who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund

Suzanna Reed as Chris and Francesca Bellavista as Annie in Calendar Girls at Limelight Theatre. Photos by Sharon Friedes

Looking for a sweet, feel-good and hilarious entertainment option? Reserve seats for Limelight Theatre’s Calendar Girls, on stage each weekend through June 9. We applaud the cast and crew, especially the brave women who pose as the Calendar Girls! Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; with a 2 p.m. matinee each Sunday. Choose your seats at limelight-theatre.org or call the box office at 904-825-1164.

We viewed this wonderful play on Saturday, May 18 to a sold out crowd on the Matuza Main Stage, a 125-seat space. It’s a pure crowd-pleaser, with laugh out loud hilarious moments, balanced out with touching and sweet scenes. Limelight also offers live theatre throughout the year in a more intimate black box space. See the full season of shows and summer camps on the website.

This fun and heartwarming show tells the story of what happens when Annie’s husband John dies of leukemia, and Annie and her best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow WI members to pose nude with them for an “alternative” calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence.

The news of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie’s friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.

“Calendar Girls” by Tim Firth opened May 17 and runs through June 9. The play is directed by Bob Pritchard, who also directed “I Oughta be in Pictures” at Limelight.  

The incredibly talented cast includes Francesca Bellavista as Annie, Suzanna Reed as Chris, Grace Reed as Cora, Anna Hobbs as Celia, Vanessa Warner as Ruth, Mary Martin as Jessie, Evelyn Lynam as Marie, Leonard Alterman as John, Bob Mandzi as Rod, Richard Curran-Kelley as Lawrence, Zachary Racine as Liam, Vivian Lampard as Lady Cravenshire, Jen Farrow and Jennifer Latka share the role of Elaine, and Teresa Harris as Brenda.

TICKETS 

  • Regular tickets are $26 for adults
  • $24 or ages 62 and older
  • $20 for military and students
  • $10 student rush for students with I.D., available 30 minutes prior to curtain for available seats.
  • Advance reservations are encouraged.

SHOWTIMES 

  • Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. from Thursday – Saturday and at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays.

The cast and crew of Calendar Girls, on stage through June 9, 2019 at Limelight Theatre.

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