Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014

‘Belles’ tells story of sisterhood through phone calls

By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger lifestyles editor | Feb 12, 2013
Photo by: JOHN GRUNWALD Audrey Hart, played by Jennifer Hammel, holds the phone up to Huckle’s ear so he can talk with her sister Peggy.

Call your sister — or even your mother — and make plans to attend Fairfield Area Community Theater’s production of “Belles,” which opens Friday evening for a six-performance run at the Walton Club.

“Belles” is described as “a vivid dramatic comedy in two acts and 45 phone calls.” And, yes, it is dramatic, with a few funny moments sprinkled in — kind of just like real life. Kids won’t enjoy it. Teenagers won’t enjoy it. Heck, some men won’t enjoy it. But women will — especially those with sisters.

The story is about the six Walker sisters, now grown and living in their own homes spread out from one side of the United States to the other. Only Peggy Reece, the oldest and a widow, played by Loretta Diers, has moved home to care for Mama.

Peggy’s phone call to her sisters to let them know Mama is in the hospital after eating some bad tuna sets off the 45 phone calls that gives a glimpse into their lives — their conflicts, their problems, their childhood trauma, their desire to have a real family relationship.

Aneece Walker, played by Diana Flynn, is an alcoholic businesswoman.

Roseanne Johnson, played by Gerry Garles, is the wife of a minister, whose marriage is failing.

Audrey Hart, played by Jennifer Hammel, centers her life around a dummy carved by her husband, a recovering alcoholic.

Sherry “Dust” Walker, played by DeeAnn Lantz, is — according to Peggy — “a space queen,” with such low standards for a man, her heart is broken again and again.

And Paige Walker, played by Detra Dettmann, is a college student, with such high standards for a man she can’t find one.

The audience learns about the sisters and their lives through their phone conversations, voice messages and soliloquies. In the second act, the audience learns about the sisters’ childhood years from a distraught Aneece and better understand why each one is the way she is now.

And, as each sister comes to grasp with the latest chapter in her life, she realizes they are still a family — they do love each other even if they don’t always agree.

The dinner shows are Friday and Saturday and Feb. 22 and 23, with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the show at 7:30 p.m.

The dessert shows are Sunday and Feb. 24, with dessert at 1:30 p.m. and the show at 2 p.m.

Reservations are required, and tickets must be purchased at Josie Hannes Design and Vintage Flair.

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