HALLOWELL — The ladies of “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress” are bridesmaids in hiding, trying to escape the heat of a wedding reception. They hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below.

The bridesmaids have been forced to wear the same dresses picked by the bride to made her look gorgeous and them hideous.

As the afternoon wears on, these five very different women discover a common bond in the two-act comedy to be presented Sunday, Aug. 14-16, and Thursday to Saturday, Aug. 20-22, by Gaslight Theater at Hallowell City Hall.

This wickedly funny, irreverent and touching celebration of the women’s spirit was written by Alan Ball in 1993, but will be staged in the present.

In “Five Women,” Ball (who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for “American Beauty” at the 72nd Academy Awards and is creator of the popular HBO television show “True Blood”) offers an incisive look at relationship customs from the perspective of the marriage ritual.

The cast of “Five Women” includes Frances, a repressed and sheltered fundamentalist, played by Jessica Fratus of Gardiner; Meredith, the bride’s younger sister played by Stormy Keithly, South Portland; Trisha, the bride’s former best friend, played by Samantha McGow, Edgecomb; Georgeanne, who’s heartbroken due to a failing marriage, played by Amber McAllister, South China; Mindy, the wise-cracking lesbian sister of the groom played by Leslie Trentalange, Kennebunk; and Tripp, a charming usher seeking Trisha’s attention, played by Eric Lundquist, Augusta.

The play contains partial nudity and adult language, and, thus, is not suitable for children.

There will be a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, Aug. 16. The Aug. 20 show will be at 7:30 p.m. All other shows will be at 8 p.m. There will be a post-show reception on Aug. 14 to celebrate the opening and to introduce the cast. For reservations, call 626-3698.

Artists will react to ‘Five Women’ on canvas
HALLOWELL — Gaslight Theater and the Kennebec Valley Art Association are teaming up this month to present a juried art exhibition in connection with Gaslight Theater’s production of “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.”

Submissions should be inspired by or a response to the play by Alan Ball.

Art in any media is welcome. Artists may borrow a script from the Harlow Gallery at 160 Water St. Call 622-3813 first to make sure it is available or e-mail [email protected]

Artwork, up to two pieces per artist, must be submitted to the Harlow Gallery between noon and 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, or between noon and 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9.

There is no cost to members of the KVAA or Gaslight Theater, and a $10 entry fee for artists who are nonmembers.

The art show will be at Hallowell City Hall on Aug. 14, 15 and 16.

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