Winter Park theatre washes relationship problems in laundry of country classics
August 29, 2008
Curtains open to the Grand Theatre Company’s summer tag-on show “Honky Tonk Laundry” tonight, a comedic musical revue of some of Nashville’s greatest divas.
The play, by Roger Bean, opens as Lana Mae Hopkins and Katie are “up to their elbows in soap, suds, and cheatin’ boyfriends” at Hopkins’ Wishy Washy Washateria.
“When the two country angels join forces, they turn their good ol’ laundromat into a boot-scootin’ boogie honky-tonk.”
The production stars GTC veteran Calah Beck as Katie and company co-owner and talent Kimberlee Nanda as Lana Mae. Many may remember Nanda from her outstanding performance and vocals in her portrayal of Carole King in the company’s tribute last spring. Her character Lana Mae is a one-time Nashville singer who is now dealing with man problems.
Beck recently starred as the gun-wielding Rita La Porta in the company’s summer sensation “Lucky Stiff.”
In “Honky Tonk Laundry,” Katie meets Lana Mae while looking for work and stain removal. She’s also a girl “with her own list of man problems.” She and Lana Mae end up helping “iron out” each others’ problems and empower each other enough to make big changes in their lives. “And they do it in a Honky Tonk fashion ” with sass and fringe and plenty of hairspray,” Nanda said.
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Director for the show, also from the summer season, is Samantha Tucker. Tucker recently moved back to Colorado from New York City and thinks it’s fitting that “Honky Tonk Laundry” is the first show she is directing, with country music always holding “a special, though secret, place” in her heart.
There were times in New York City, she said, she would be in a bar in the East Village “and suddenly Garth Brooks comes on, or I’m in the subway and a street performer starts up on Johnny Cash. Suddenly, I’m back in Fountain, Colo. where the city park includes a rodeo stadium, where a whole town is one big military family, where the Labor Day Parade is the biggest festival of the year, and where our greatest achievement is the new town hall (though it’s really just a backdrop for our real pride, a banner that reads ‘Fountain Colorado, winner of All American City Year 2000.’ For me, country music is wistful and ridiculous and charming and mostly, home.”
“Honky Tonk Laundry,” which takes place of the originally scheduled production of “Over the Tavern” now set for the spring, includes an incredible high-energy, jukebox-like score. Musical features to be highlighted include work by divas like The Dixie Chicks, Terri Clark, Patsy Cline, Amy Dalley, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Loretta Lynn, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Pam Tillis, Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton.
The show guarantees every customer a good, clean time and patrons are encouraged to bring their dancing boots and relationship problems on down. The Grand Theatre Company has “a cure made of comedy, dancing and country’s greatest hits.”