The Woods Hole Theatre Company has postponed their production of "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking."
There’s something about a back door that speaks to us of comfort and familiarity. The UPS driver comes to the front door, our best friends and family come to the back door. And while the front of our houses might appear perfectly staged, the back yard is where we can let a few cracks show since those who love us best won’t notice.
This being the case it’s telling that Hannah Mae Binder enters Maude Mix’s life through the back door in the opening scene of “A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking.” It suggests a familiarity that’s not there yet but might be forthcoming.
The Woods Hole Theater Company is currently staging the play, written by John Ford Noonan, at the Woods Hole Community Hall. It stars Heather Marin as the standoffish Maude and Louise Patrick as the well-meaning but overbearing Hannah Mae. The two women have good chemistry, the pacing is fast and the show is nicely staged, using extensions to allow the women to move about freely in front of the furniture. Both the women, who change clothes multiple times, are stylishly clad in outfits befitting their characters.
Maude Mix is a suburban housewife in upscale Westchester County who fills her lonely days sorting laundry, reading to the blind and baking cookies for the League of Women Voters. She feels most comfortable in an apron, defends her lifestyle by calling it a “life of the mind” and finds her only release in lip-syncing to rock ‘n’ roll when she thinks no one is looking.
Neighbor Hannah Mae Binder, new to the neighborhood from Texas, can not only literally see through Maude’s window and back door, but also sees through her emotional veneer of happy housewife. Much to Maude’s dismay, Hannah Mae keeps returning despite her best efforts to dissuade the friendship.
“I don’t need all your feelings,” Maude tells Hannah Mae, adding that people who live in Westchester County “have earned the right to keep our distance.”
Eventually the two find some common ground when we learn that Hannah Mae’s husband, Carl Joe, has “wandering hands,” and that Maude’s husband, Tyler, is currently off on his biannual tryst to Puerto Rico with his latest secretary.
The fast friendship formed by the two women may seem a little forced but the play is meant more as a evening of light comedy and a celebration of friendship among women than a psychological study in how actual relationships develop.
Both the women are perfectly cast in their roles. Ms. Marin is very good as the tightly wound wife in the strained marriage, who, when she finally lets loose, approaches her newly found intensity for living life to the fullest with the same zeal she used to reserve for baking 11 dozen cookies in one afternoon.
Ms. Patrick is perfect as Hannah Mae: despite her slight stature, she exemplifies the notion that everything’s bigger in Texas.
“A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking” will run March 13 through March 28 at the Woods Hole Community Hall. Performance times are 7:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 PM on March 15 and 22.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online through the company’s website or at the door on the night of the show.