BWW Review: DEAR PENELOPE - A Love Letter To Girl Buddies
DEAR PENELOPE by Kat Sparks, produced by SouthWest Theatre Productions that played a short two week run at the Dougherty Arts Center is a sweet love letter to girlfriend/buddy situation comedy.
The show centers on the DEAR PENELOPE advice column and live helpline for the fictitious multimedia corporation Bluestone Communications. The central cast of characters comprise a sisters-in-arms trio against the business giant and it's soul crushing employee practices. The women who have been exiled to the deepest recesses of the basement are disgraced former producer Alex (Jan Wallace-Phillips), acerbic former ace reporter Veris (Maureen Slabaugh) and perky youngster, former weather girl, Jolly (Heather DeMartini). Throw in lovesick mailroom worker Wendell (Keith Paxton) we have the setup for something insane to happen. Life in the Bluestone version of purgatory is a living hell for these women once at the top of their careers. Each of them have fantasies about how the will be whisked away back to the land of the living, upstairs. Enter Darby (Will Cleveland) the boss who can change their destiny with a stroke of his pen. But alas, Darby only brings another woman Tony (Beth Burroughs) to share their fate. But it's Tony that brings our girls a stroke of brilliance and a way to break out of their proverbial dungeon. The plan goes awry, a viral video is involved, but the whole thing wraps up in a happy ending for all.