Calendar Girls

November 8-18, Thursday-Saturday 7pm; Sunday 3pm
San Miguel Playhouse, Av. Independencia 82
$350

Filled with wit, warmth, and genuine insight, “Calendar Girls” is based on the true story of a group of Women’s Institute members in Yorkshire, England who bared it all trying to raise money for charity.

It runs November 8-18 at the San Miguel Playhouse, located at Av. Independencia #82.

After her husband dies of leukemia, Annie teams up with her best friend Chris to create a fundraising calendar. Realizing that stodgy photos of landscapes and bridges won’t garner all that much money for the local hospital, they decide the calendar should instead feature tasteful nude photos of the women in the local Women’s Institute.

The play follows the women as they wade into the unknown waters of artistic nudity. Some of them are appalled and others are titillated, but all of them have the first thought any reasonable person over 40 would have: How will I look nude?

Luckily the W.I.’s long tradition of fostering domestic skills suggests an endless number of items which can cover the naughty bits. When the tops finally come off and the ladies go for broke, they are shielding their bosoms with an array of jam jars, freshly baked buns, balls of yarn and the church hall piano.

The actual calendar was an enormous hit. It was released on April 12, 1999 and was an instant sensation with the first printing selling out in a week. 10,000 more copies were made and that load was gone in just three more weeks.

Word spread quickly about the calendar, and the international press soon jumped on the story. By December of 1999, just nine months after its launch, the calendar had sold 88,000 copies, and raised some £550,000 for leukemia research.

The money was used to fund cutting edge research into lymphoma and leukemia at the University of Leeds. A plaque dedicated to John Baker, Annie’s husband, was placed in the new laboratories at Leeds.

It reads, “The work in this laboratory is dedicated to the memory of John Baker in recognition of the exceptional fundraising achievements of ‘The Calendar Girls’ of the Rylstone & District Women’s Institute.”

This delightful, heartfelt story was made into a hit 2003 movie starring Helen Mirren.

The San Miguel Playhouse has lined up an incredible group of actors with decades of experience among them to form the ensemble cast of “Calendar Girls” under the direction of Jim Newell, a formidable actor in his own right. Phoebe Greyson is the producer.

The cast includes: Anne Campbell, Judy Newell, Kate Rowland, Maggie Bunce, Barbara Goushaw, Janell Meador, Raquel Martin, Barbara Ziff, Lola Smith, Cherrita Robertson, Frank Simmons, Neil Sklar, Fil Formicola and Jeffery Chittenden.

The San Miguel Playhouse is producing a 2019 fundraising calendar of its own in recognition of this production. The proceeds will go towards the purchase of the theater building. It features the cast of “Calendar Girls” with the women engaged in traditional WI activities, wearing nothing but pearls and a smile.

Calendars will be available on opening night at the Playhouse. Tickets for Calendar Girls are 350 MXN and are on sale at Boleto City in the Mercado Sano, 123 Ancha de San Antonio (second floor) from Mon-Sat, 9-1 and 3-5 or online at www.sanmiguelplayhouse.com. Tickets will also be available at the door one hour before showtime for that day only.

Better hurry though, this is one show that will definitely sell out!

www.sanmiguelplayhouse.com

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