Kim Matula, Carla Renata, Sarah Colonna, Carmen Cusack, Amy Pietz, and Elaine Hendrix in “Designing Women” / TheatreSquared
Twenty-eight years after it left television, 18 months after it was first announced and a full year since its intended debut, TheatreSquared will finally host the premiere of the theatrical version of “Designing Women.” The new play is from the pen of original showrunner Linda Bloodworth Thomason and is co-directed by her husband and production partner, Harry Thomason, with an assist from T2 associate artistic director Amy Herzberg. It officially debuts to the public Friday after a series of limited preview offerings – and a yearlong delay courtesy of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a press release from TheatreSquared, the show’s inaugural cast includes veterans of stage and screen. Cast members include Carmen Cusack (who appeared in “Wicked” on Broadway) as Julia Sugarbaker; Amy Pietz (“The Office”) as Suzanne Sugarbaker; Sarah Colonna (“Chelsea Lately”) as Mary Jo Shively; and Elaine Hendrix (“Dynasty”) as Charlene Frazier. They will be joined by Carla Renata (“Hart of Dixie”) as the firm’s new designer Cleo Bouvier; Kim Matula (“The Bold & The Beautiful”) as Haley, the firm’s receptionist, and Elizabeth Ofodile as Cleo’s daughter, Alfie.
Like the television show that ran for seven seasons in the late ’80s and early ’90s, “Designing Women” the play follows the women who work at an interior design firm. But the new show has received updates for our modern times. The clan may be back together, but COVID has arrived and Georgia – now a political 50/50 – is about to have a consequential election.
Where: Live at TheatreSquared and also streaming
When: 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 24 to Oct. 24; the streaming version will debut Oct. 15
Cost: $18-$58; $25-$35 for a streaming pass
Tickets: 479-777-7477 or theatre2.org
“Designing Women has a special magic,” said Bloodworth Thomason via the press release announcing the show and the cast. “And a ubiquitous appeal. It would seem to be the perfect theatrical venue for sharing an evening of humor while sitting next to people you can’t stand.”
In addition to the in-person live performances, the show will be streamed starting Oct. 15 and patrons can view the performance from their own homes. Within the available streaming window (midnight to midnight) on the day the stream is purchased, it can be watched multiple times.