Two and a half stars
Theatre on the Square; directed by Ron Spencer.
Daughters, by TOTS’ fave author, Del Shores, is about a bunch of rich, racist biddies in Texas. These women are part of a social organization, the “Daughters,” whose motto is “the privileged helping the under privileged.” But their idea of being “privileged” doesn’t have to do with just having money — it includes breeding and race. Desperate for new recruits since their numbers are dwindling, they are faced with accepting an outspoken ex member, the past subject of a donation drive and perhaps even a “colored” servant. Shores’ script so nonchalantly includes heinous racial remarks that instead of proving a point, he seems to be writing for the shock value. Instead of being funny, it is just awkward. The large cast, made up of many local theater matriarchs, is a little unsteady on stage — flubbed lines and too-large pauses were rampant opening night. But when racial jokes are minimized and the women get into their groove, they can deliver. Standouts include Mary Atkins as Alzheimer’s-stricken founder Cookie, who is pure comic relief, and a good performance from Jean Adams as progressive-thinking Lois. Diann Ryan also has a great time as the mink-clad, alcoholic bigot Darlene. Not the most solid show, but I laughed. Through March 31; 317-685-TOTS.