For the Antigo Times
“The Hallelujah Girls” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten will be presented by Wabeno Area Players at Madonna Hall in Wabeno, Thursday through Sunday (February 9-12), tells the story of five friends who try help one another find happiness, while struggling to find their own.
“Basically, it’s a story about a group of women who have been lifelong friends and one has decided to start a new life with a new business,” said Carol Bartlein, who plays Sugar Lee, the story’s main character.
The setting is small-town Georgia, where Sugar Lee (Carol Bartlein) has decided to fulfill her dream and opens a day spa inside a dilapidated former church. By following her dream, Sugar Lee hopes to inspire her friends Carlene Travis (Lori Mattern), Mavis Flowers (Wendy Richards), Nita Mooney (Joan Sackett) and Crystal Hart (Jenny Spencer) to “live life to the fullest.”
The former church almost feels like an appropriate location for Sugar Lee’s new day spa, a place where friends gather to listen, learn and heal, except, with a huge dose of laughter.
However, the story wouldn’t be complete without the struggling relationship between Sugar Lee and Bunny Sutherland (Linda Zuleger), who is trying to thwart Sugar Lee’s efforts for her own gain.
“There’s also a romance that may or may not be rekindled,” Bartlein said.
Porter Padgett (Boyd Monte), a grown mama’s boy, tries to woo Carlene, the town’s “black widow,” who has buried three husbands. However, Whited is referring to the presence of Bobby Dwayne Dillhunt (Bob Brown), Sugar Lee’s former high school sweetheart and ex-fiancé who Bunny hires to help with renovations on the property and agitate Sugar Lee.
Watching “The Hallelujah Girls” is reminiscent of “Steel Magnolias” without the sadness. It’s a comedy some compare to “Golden Girls” for its witty one-liners and amusing introspection that longtime friends understand.
“I fell in love with it by the third page,” said Bartlein. “It’s a delightful little play.”
“The Hallelujah Girls” opens 7 p.m. Thursday at Madonna Hall, 1793 Elm Ave., Wabeno, WI 54566. Additional shows are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Doors open one hour before showtime for the dessert and beverage service. Tickets are $15 and include dessert.
Reservations are required for the show, please call (715) 889-1606 or (715) 473-5466. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, check our website www.wabenoareaplayers.org or Facebook @wabenoareaplayers.