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Hoedown lowdown

Thu., Feb. 4, 2010, midnight

Jennifer Jacobs, left, stars as Angela, Marina Kalani, center, as Sue Ellen and Emily Cleveland as Darlene in Interplayers’ production of “Honky Tonk Angels.” (Dan Pelle)
Jennifer Jacobs, left, stars as Angela, Marina Kalani, center, as Sue Ellen and Emily Cleveland as Darlene in Interplayers’ production of “Honky Tonk Angels.” (Dan Pelle)

Country music hits dominate Interplayers’ production of ‘Honky Tonk Angels’

Plenty of folks loved it when Interplayers staged “Always … Patsy Cline” in 2003.

Those same folks should lap up Interplayers’ new show, “Honky Tonk Angels,” which is by the same playwright, Ted Swindley. It mines similar country-music material.

Instead of Patsy, this time we get three fictional aspiring country divas named Angela, Sue Ellen and Darlene. Think of them as stand-ins, in a way, for real country divas such as Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette.

This musical is loaded with familiar country standards, including “Stand By Your Man,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,” “These Boots are Made for Walking,” “Ode to Billy Joe,” “Rocky Top,” “9 to 5,” “Cleopatra, Queen of Denial,” “I Will Aways Love You,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “Harper Valley PTA.”

Not to mention, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.”

Angela, played by Jennifer Jacobs, is a cheerful mother of six from Texas; Sue Ellen, played by Marina Kalani, is a country-girl-turned-big-city- secretary tired of being chased by her bosses; and Darlene, played by Emily Cleveland, is the naïve kid from the boondocks.

They meet on a Greyhound bus bound for Nashville and decide to become a trio. The second act consists of their triumphant concert there.

Swindley has likened it to “ ‘Dreamgirls’ meets the Dixie Chicks.”

It’s a musical comedy with plenty of dialogue and a plot revolving around the songs. Swindley refers to it as a “revuesical,” since the songs are all big jukebox hits.

Director Reed McColm said it’s the kind of show which allows the audience “to put their brains on hold” and just enjoy the music and the laughs.

McColm said he has loved working with this talented trio of actresses.

“My direction has consisted mostly of me saying, ‘Entertain me, ladies,’ ” he said.

The musical accompaniment consists of pre-recorded tracks. Carolyn Jess did the musical direction and the choreographer is Jennifer Shell.


 

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