'Angry Housewives' opens July 18 at CBC

Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJuly 10, 2014 

If you think Angry Housewives sounds like an angst-driven play packed with violence and bad language, think again.

"This is an upbeat, feel-good musical from beginning to end," says director Ginny Quinley.

Still have doubts? Look at it this way: How could a story about four mature and stable women who decide to form a punk rock band to spice up their boring lives be anything but entertaining?

The angry housewives are Wendi, Jetta, Bev and Carol, and they've about had it with their useless boyfriends, husbands and sons, so they decide to form a punk rock band and enter a talent show to ease the boredom. The reactions of the men in their lives is nothing short of hilarious.

The show opens July 18 and continues July 19, 24-26, 31 and Aug. 1-2 in the theater at Columbia Basin College in Pasco. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m.. There also is a 2 p.m. matinee July 27.

Here are the characters:

Bev, played by Katrina Carlson, is a widow with money trouble and a teenage son, Tim. She is not used to taking care of herself. She plays guitar, and so does Tim.

Carol, played by Daphne Block, is a high school teacher, divorced and self-sufficient. She's also Tim's music teacher. She plays keyboards.

Jetta, played by Kim Tate Clark, is married to obnoxious lawyer Larry, who likes everything in its place, including his wife at home. She has no self-confidence. Jetta went to college with Wendi. She plays accordion.

Wendi, played by Mindy Krejci, works as a drawbridge attendant. She's confident, energetic and is dating Wally. She plays the drums.

Andrew Stark plays Tim; Nick Trowbridge is Larry; Will Thurston is Wally; and Cameron Rush is nightclub owner Lewd Fingers.

"I am excited to play the same role of Wendi that I played 25 years ago when CBC first produced Angry Housewives," Krejci said. "I was only 18 then, so now I'm the right age to play Wendi, and I really understand her better."

In fact, Krejci says she actually lived a little of her character during the past couple of decades.

"I've experienced many of the situations all four of the female characters go through in this show," she said. "This has always been one of my favorite shows to perform, so being able to rock out again is a treat."

Carlson wholeheartedly shares Krejci's love for the script, as well as the joy of working with a superb cast.

"Angry Housewives has been the type of experience that I treasure in community theater," she said. "Everyone -- cast, crew, director -- works hard and is very professional, but we all have so much fun, and that's a rare treat."

Quinley said the male characters are as entertaining as the women.

"Larry's wife dresses him, and Wally wants his girlfriend to sail with him to Hawaii, but he doesn't know how to sail," Quinley said. "Tim wants to win the punk rock contest, but his mom's band beats him out, and Lewd Fingers just wants his punk club to do well.

"These are the men who deal with the angry housewives. They're silly, nerdy and most of all, lovable."

Angry Housewives was created by Chad Henry and A.M. Collins. Henry handled the music while Collins wrote the story. Both men jointly wrote the lyrics.

The musical debuted in 1983 at the Pioneer Square Theater in Seattle and played to sold-out audiences before it moved to Broadway in 1986.

The CBC production includes a range of music that includes reggae, ballads, swing and, of course, punk rock, Quinley said. She also doesn't think she's had a more committed group of actors.

"Kim Tate Clark drives from Hermiston every day for rehearsal," Quinley said. "And Will Thurston is going to be a father this week or next for the second time, but he only plans to miss one performance -- the day his baby is born. I so appreciate that kind of commitment level."

The production staff includes Marlie Buriak as choreographer, Marsha Polk as vocal director and Verna Schwilke as costumer.

Tickets to the show are $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors, and are available at Adventures Underground in Richland, the CBC arts center or at tix.com.

The musical is rated R because of adult language and situations.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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