OnStage Connecticut Critic
“The Delval Divas” by Barbara Pease Weber opened to a packed house Thursday night at Curtain Call, directed by Gale Yudain. The comedy features six strong actresses taking turns upstaging one another in a preposterous play about 4 (eventually 5) white collar criminals incarcerated at the Delaware Valley Correctional Institution. The gag is that these women are rich, educated and powerful and have co-opted the entire prison structure, sending out for meals and even sending the warden and his wife on a Christmas cruise.
As the story opens Beth (the fabulous Miran Robarts) is about to be discharged , but doesn’t want to leave the comfortable surroundings. The prison guard Lucille (the powerful Brent McKinley) tries to persuade her to leave.
The story revolves around these white collar criminals, convicted of financial and computer crimes finding out that their facility is slated to be closed and they will be moved to ordinary prisons with the hoi polloi. And, at the same time, they learn that Beth will be replaced by Sharon (the scene stealing Rachel Schulte) who is accused of murdering her ex-husband’s new wife.
The story is a battle of 3 powerful and wealthy women Linda, a doctor, played by Ann Alford, Stella, an MBA played by Amy Wade, Rosemary, a lawyer played by Kate Telfer, and Beth, an MBA and computer hacker played by Miran Robarts to keep their power and their cushy life style by manipulating the system and the delightful Lucille (Brent McKinley) as the fully co-opted prison guard.
How they manage to solve the prison’s problems and Sharon’s make for a very entertaining and hilarious tale, told in the single prison set designed by Peter Barbieri, Jr., and cunningly laid out in the small ¾ round stage at Curtain Call’s Dressing Room Theater. Seating is at tables, so you can bring your food and beverages and enjoy the show.
This is the kind of show that really shines in this intimate space, and it is refreshing to see an unamplified production carried out by six fantastic actresses. Don’t miss this one!
Performances continue through January 29th, and tickets are available on the Curtain Call web site.