IVORYTON – The summer season opens June 3 in Ivoryton with the US professional premier of one of the UK’s most popular shows, ‘Calendar Girls.’ Adapted by Tim Firth from his smash hit Miramax film of the same name, it is based on an inspiring true story that is both poignant and hilarious.
A group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire Women’s Institute, spark a global phenomenon by persuading one another to pose au natural for a charity calendar with a difference. As interest snowballs, the ‘Calendar Girls’ find themselves revealing more than they’d ever planned …
Dazzlingly funny, shamelessly sentimental and utterly captivating, this is one of the best-selling shows in British theatre history. It will make you laugh, cry … and walk out singing Jerusalem!
The fundraising phenomenon of the Calendar Girls was inspired by the death of Angela Baker’s husband, John Richard Baker, an Assistant National Park Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, who died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 54 in 1998.
During his illness Angela’s friends began to raise money, initially with the aim of purchasing a sofa for the visitors’ lounge in the hospital where John was treated. Nothing could have prepared them for the way their original calendar took off (selling 202,000 copies in its first year). To date they have raised over £3 million for Leukemia & Lymphoma Research, the UK’s leading blood cancer charity.
The Ivoryton Playhouse will also be using this opportunity to raise awareness for several cancer charities. Wednesday, June 3, at 7:30 p.m. is Cancer Survivor Night – half price adult ticket price for those individuals who have survived the challenge of cancer. Participating organizations include Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, Little Wonder, Valley Shore YMCA – Hope is Power Program and Middlesex Hospital‘s Center for Survivorship and Integrative Medicine.
Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic/Executive Director, is directing the production and is also stepping on stage in the role of Annie. Beverley Taylor, Ivoryton Company Manager, will be joining her in the role of Chris.
“We are both Northern English lasses” says Hubbard, “I spent four years trying to get the rights to produce this wonderful play and, though directing and performing at the same time will be a challenge, I knew I had to do it. These women are in our bones and it will be a rare treat to get to step in front of the curtain for a change.”
Joining them on stage are Vickie Blake, Danielle Bonanno, Erik Bloomquist, Victoria Bundonis*, R. Bruce Connelly*, Lily Dorment*, David Edwards*, Katrina Ferguson*, Maggie McGlone Jennings, and Maria Silverman*.
Set design is by Tony Andrea, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Cully Long.
Calendar Girls opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on June 3, and runs through June 21. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)
The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.