Birmingham’s Virginia Samford Theatre is one of just 15 theatres in the country granted the production rights for one of the most popular modern English comedies, Calendar Girls, opening Thursday, Nov. 5. The production marks the play’s Alabama debut and stars some of Birmingham’s most recognizable actresses “dropping everything for a good cause,” according to the press release.
The 2003 Nigel Cole film starring Helen Mirren was translated for the stage by playwright Tim Firth in 2008 and opened to wide financial success, selling over £1.7 million in advance ticket sales. At VST, Dane Peterson, star of this year’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, directs actresses Jan D. Hunter and Celeste Burnum through the true story of Annie and her friends from the Women’s Institute who do the unthinkable in order to raise money for cancer research.
“The ladies of a certain age all rally to create an alternative (artistic and tasteful) calendar to benefit the hospital’s cancer Relative’s Room and as a result, become a media sensation,” according to the press release. “The news of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press descend upon the small town of Knapeley, Yorkshire, England. While the calendar is a huge success, the women’s relationships are put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.”
Likewise, a portion of the Virginia Samford Theatre’s calendar sales will be donated to UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Virginia Samford Theatre is located at 1116 26th St. S. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m., through Nov. 22. Tickets are $28. For more information, visit virginiasamfordtheatre.org.