Outrageous Tim Firth Comedy at Old Academy: CALENDAR GIRLS

by Patricia Bradford

PHILADELPHIA, PA – East Falls’ historic Old Academy Players celebrates its 96th season, and the new year by presenting CALENDAR GIRLS by Tim Firth. Directed by Loretta Lucy Miller, CALENDAR GIRLS (2008) is a stage play by British dramatist, screenwriter, and songwriter, Tim Firth, based on a true story of eleven Yorkshire women who posed nude to produce a calendar to raise money for Leukemia Research under the auspices of the Women’s Institutes (WI). In 2003, it became a blockbuster movie, starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters. CALENDAR GIRLS is the fastest selling play in British theatre history. Old Academy Players’ 517th production is stage managed by Janine Lieberman and produced by Joan Shupp, Mary Jane Fullam, and Randy Shupp. Show dates are: January 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, & 27, 2019; Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

When Annie’s husband, John, dies of Leukemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new sofa for the family room where they waited while John had his chemotherapy treatments. They persuade fellow WI members to pose nude with them for an “alternative” calendar in John’s memory and raise money for Leukemia research. The news of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small English village of Knapeley, where hilarity ensues.

When the calendar was launched in 1999, the aim had been to raise five thousand pounds. As of 2017, five million pounds have been raised. Their act of love and courage has touched and changed the lives of millions of people, who have gone through their own grief from this devastating disease. It also spurred other women’s organizations to do their own nude calendars as well. Come to laugh, cry, enjoy and be moved by the Calendar Girls! Old Academy hopes to be selling its own nude calendar as a fundraiser. You won’t want to be without one!

Old Academy’s amazing cast includes: Benjamin Edward Fried as John, Bonnie Grant as Annie, Bonnie Kapenstein as Ruth, Christopher Wunder as Lawrence, Dale Mezzacappa as Lady Cravenshire, Eric Jonathan Cox as Liam, Janet Wasser as Marie, Kimberly Hess as Elaine, Michael Jeffrey Cohen as Rod, Michelle Moscicki as Brenda, Susan Blair as Chris, Susan Lonker as Jessie, Susan Triggiani as Cora, and Terri Fries Bateman as Celia.

Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Parking for all performances is free. Ticket price is $20 per person. Buy tickets online at www.oldacademyplayers.org/. Old Academy welcomes groups! Take advantage of group discount pricing ($17 per person with 15 or more people in a group). Call 215-843-1109 for more information and tickets.

Old Academy Players, where Grace Kelly and Robert Prosky made their stage debuts, is a non-profit community theater located at 3544 Indian Queen Lane in East Falls (Philadelphia), the urban village on the Schuylkill River. Constructed in 1819, the Old Academy building has been the OAP home since 1932. Old Academy Players has provided continuous community theater since 1923 and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

Theater/Organization OLD ACADEMY PLAYERS
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.oldacademyplayers.org/

Theater/Organization Address: 3544 Indian Queen Lane Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (215) 843-1109

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