Hilarious interactions result from siblings getting together after 25 years

From left to right, Rosalind Farotte playing Peggy and Betsy Andrade playing Aneece in Limelight Actors Theater’s production of “Belles: The Reunion.”
Photo courtesy Limelight Actors Theater

Gilroy’s Limelight Theater serves up audiences with plenty of laughs and complicated relationship challenges among a group of opinionated women in “Belles: The Reunion.” The comedy runs until the July 14 matinee, which was specially added because of  the show’s popularity.

The sequel to the hit “Belles” by Mark Dunn, which Limelight previously performed, the show will appeal to both those who’ve already fallen in love with the six Walker sisters from Memphis, Tennessee, as well as audiences discovering these telephone-tethered women for the very first time. The women  communicate by phone throughout the performance. “Belles: The Reunion” moves 25 years in time from the first production. Some of the characters haven’t talked to each other in all that time. The uniting of the actors and the timing is extremely well done due to excellent direction of Limelight’s Kevin Heath.

The story starts with the most immediate problem of the Walker’s mama disrobing in the community room of her nursing room, forcing the sisters to unite once more and put their heads together to decide what to do with her. Things get really wild when oldest sister Peggy has been bilked out of all her money by a ne’er-do-well boyfriend. Aneece and Paige’s marriages are on the rocks. Audrey continues to mourn the death of both her husband and her only child with alcohol. Sherry is still trying to earn the respect of her sisters after so many years of being the free-spirited family laughingstock. And Roseanne, after three failed marriages to three minister husbands, has lost both her religious faith and the faith she’s always put in her family. Topping the catastrophes off, a cousin has asked all six Walker siblings to “beta-taste” her new candy, with mutually disastrous gastrointestinal results.

The cast carries the phone premise with smooth conversations about their lives and problems at the moment. Local performers Rosalind Farotte, Christy Walt, Donna Knippen, Christine McElroy, Betsy Andrade and Christine Wanish, move the  humorous dialogue at a pace that keeps attention. The experienced cast pulls the satire along with hilarious effect.

The clever set at the Gilroy Center for the Arts, designed by Kevin Heath and Glynis Crabb, puts the six characters in their own “homes” on one stage. It brings an intimacy to each character as the plot moves into their ever more complicated situations.

Tickets can be  purchased online. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with an 8 p.m. curtain. At matinee performances, doors open at 1 p.m. with a 2 p.m. curtain. You can bring dinner and a bottle of  wine  There is also a concession with wine and drinks available. If you bring your own food be sure to bring all utensils. Dinner can also be ordered from the Milias Restaurant from their “Limelight Theatre to Go Menu.” Order by noon the day of the show and dinner will be delivered at 7 p.m. Call (408) 337-5100.

Camille Bounds is the Theatre, Arts and Travel columnist for the Morgan Hill and Gilroy Life.

Camille Bounds

Theater Columnist at Gilroy Life
Camille Bounds is the theater columnist for the Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy LIfe newspapers. She has performed on Broadway and traveled around the world. She can be reached at: bounds17@gmail,com
Camille Bounds