Review: Calendar Girls at Theatre on the Square 

***1/2
click to enlarge From left, Celia (Risa Krauter), Chris (Nan Macy) and Ruth (Laura Baltz) in Calendar Girls at Theatre on the Square. - ZACH ROSING
  • From left, Celia (Risa Krauter), Chris (Nan Macy) and Ruth (Laura Baltz) in Calendar Girls at Theatre on the Square.
  • Zach Rosing

Calendar Girls is the story of a group of WI (Women’s Institute) volunteers in Yorkshire, England that decides to pose semi-nude for a calendar to raise money to buy a hospital settee in memory of their friend, John (Paul Haskin), the husband of one of the women. He dies of cancer early on in the story.

The calendar women (played by Laura Baltz, Arlene Haskin, Kate Hinman, Risa Krauter, Nan Macy, and Vickie Smith) have to overcome both their own inhibitions about posing and the disapproval of their organization’s leaders. They also have to work through some of the conflict that comes up whenever people call each other on their blind spots without acknowledging their own.

click to enlarge The full crew of calendar girls. - ZACH ROSING
  • The full crew of calendar girls.
  • Zach Rosing
Just as we only get glimpses of each woman’s unclothed body, we also only get glimpses of who she is as a person. I wanted more.

But I remember feeling that way about the movie too. The film and the stage play, both by Tim Firth, are based on a true story.

Under Lori Raffel’s direction these actors do pretty well with what the script gives them. Nan Macy (Chris) is my role model for confidence equaling sex appeal at any age. I’m glad Chris has a sexy husband, too. (Rod, played by Tim Latimer.)

click to enlarge From left, Annie (Arlene Haskin), Lawrence (Mark Peed) and Chris (Nan Macy) in Calendar Girls. - ZACH ROSING
  • From left, Annie (Arlene Haskin), Lawrence (Mark Peed) and Chris (Nan Macy) in Calendar Girls.
  • Zach Rosing
I took off stars because several of the set design, pacing, and blocking choices just didn’t work for me. Nonetheless, this show makes for a warm, fun night for adults that appreciate a humorous, heroic story. And it has a nice community theatre feel that fits the vibe of the original calendar project.

Also fitting: Theatre on the Square is donating some of the ticket sales to a different charity each night. The night I attended, the show benefited Indy Reads Books.

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