Calendar Girls is coming!

Karen Schickedanz as Jessie; photo by Dick Fleming

Karen Schickedanz as Jessie; photo by Dick Fleming

Dick Fleming

Our spring production this year will be Calendar Girls, based on a true story of a group of British women who unwittingly made history!

In the mid-1990s, Tricia, a member of the Women’s Institute Club in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, thought it would be amusing to do an alternative version of the traditional WI calendar. It was a joke at the time until touched by the serious illness of her friend Angela’s husband John. It was then the group decided they had to do the “nude” calendar. John knew about it and thought it a very amusing idea but said they would never do it. When John died in July 1998, Tricia and the group of women (ages 45 to 65) were determined to go ahead with the calendar.

The Alternative Nude WI Calendar was launched in 1999. The media coverage was huge with the story in the national news every day for three weeks. The girls modeled at the Savoy in a London fashion week, were voted Women of the Year and took calendars to the palace for the Queen and the Queen Mother. Oldie magazine awarded them The Oldie Exposure of the Year. That year the calendar sold 88,000 copies in the U.K. A year later the calendar was published in America, selling a further 240,000 copies promoted by two tours of the United States including a stint on The Tonight Show. In 2003, the blockbuster film premiered in London and in 2004 the book, The Calendar Girl’s Story, was published. It has been reprinted many times and translated into different languages.

The stage version opened in 2009 playing all over the world including Australia, Canada, Poland, Czech Republic, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Israel, Brazil and Greece and continues to pack theatres in the U.K. and now in America. In 2011 the play beat the all-time British box office record for a play. The initial aim had been to raise £5,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Research and to have a calendar dedicated to John’s memory. The calendar project was expected to last three weeks but 15 years on it has raised well over £2 million for Leukemia and Lymphoma Research.

Performances April 5 through 10. Doors/Cash Bar open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. in the MountainView Cabaret Theatre. Tickets are $24 including dessert/coffee/tea served at your table. Tickets: 825-2818, or the HOA 2 office. The best tables sell quickly so get your tickets early! Buy a table and come with your friends.

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Publishing.

Based on the Miramax motion picture by Juliette Towhidi and Tim Firth.