2006-05-12 / Community

RTC Gets In Touch With Its Feminine Side With 'The Women'

The cast of "The Women" at the theater. The cast of "The Women" at the theater. Clare Booth Luce can certainly be considered a "Renaissance Woman" for her time. Her public life spanned several decades and several careers. Aside from being an accomplished playwright, she was a well-known politician, journalist, and diplomat. Her second play, The Women, which opened on Broadway in 1936, was a satire of the idleness of a group with which Luce was apparently very well acquainted: Wealthy wives and divorcees.

Seventy years after its premier The Rockaway Theatre Company brings this very insightful commentary on "The Fairer Sex" to the stage of The Post Theatre at Fort Tilden in Breezy Point, Queens. Opening on the weekend of May 5, the first three shows were received with overwhelming enthusiasm, proving that Luce's wit and wisdom, in respect to the feline side of the female gender, has spanned the decades retaining its original humor and scathing sarcasm.

Mounting a production such as this one constitutes a unique challenge for any theatre company. Before granting the production rights to the play, Clare Booth Luce's Estate stipulates that no males may be substituted in the cast, under any circumstances. When asked about the challenge of working with an all-female cast, Peggy Vivino, who is responsible for the magnificent period costumes replied, "Fitting and pinning in a dressing room permeated with estrogen can be a bit scary, but we managed to come through the process with minimal bloodshed."

Kerry O'Connor as Crystal Stiller. Kerry O'Connor as Crystal Stiller. RTC's production of The Women was co-directed by Peggy Page (who plays the role of Sylvia Fowler) and Michael Wotypka, who, being the only male working with a cast and crew of more than forty babes, was nicknamed "Y Chromosome" shortly after rehearsals began. The cast includes Lynda Browning in the role of Mary, Susan Beaulieu as the "Ever-pregnant" Edith, Kaitlin Staub Creed as the nave Peggy and newcomer Kate Hall as the independent Nancy. With a cast and crew of women somewhere between 35 and 40 in number, ranging in age from 11 to 60, it would be impossible to mention all the excellent actresses featured in this production, individually. But opening weekend audiences agreed that the RTC has done a phenomenal job of assembling some very fine femininity, consisting of stage veterans, as well as novices, from various areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. There are also some special appearances by prominent ladies from the Rockaway Community. If you watch closely, perhaps you will recognize a local realtor, a Peninsula Hospital Center employee, a few R.A.A. and R.M.A.C. members, as well as a columnist and publisher of this very newspaper. The Women will be running for two

Lynda Browning as Mary and Najat Arkadan as Miriam. Lynda Browning as Mary and Najat Arkadan as Miriam. more weekends. There are performances scheduled for May 12, 13 and 20 at 8 p.m. There will also be matinee performances on May 14 at 2 p.m. and May 20 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are only $15.00 for adults and $12.00 for Seniors and Children. Call (718) 850-2450 for reservations now, as this production is a definite sell-out!

By the way, if any men are feeling reluctant to see this one, assuming that it is just a "Chick show", rest assured that the play has something for everyone...

Gentlemen: Be sure to stay for the bows!

Nancy and Miriam console the countess. Nancy and Miriam console the countess. Mrs. Wagstaff (Janet Miserandino) visits the salon. Mrs. Wagstaff (Janet Miserandino) visits the salon.

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