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Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown

From L to R: Stephanie Ondersma as Pepa and Cassandra Jansma as Candela rehearse a scene from “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”

Up next for the Flat River Community Players is a relatively new musical, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” Coming to the Greenville Area Community Center in July, “Women on the Verge” is based on the 1988 Pedro Almodovar movie classic of the same title. In 2011, Bartlett Sher, Jeffrey Lane, and David Yazbek took the affecting yet funny tale, gave it a satirical comic style, and set it to an enticing Latin beat.

“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” is a story about miscommunication, coincidences, and crossed-paths.  It’s about the fury of women scorned and the men who sometimes pursue and sometimes reject them. It’s about the choices we make, both good and bad, and the consequences every step of the way.

Central to the plot is Pepa (Stephanie Ondersma), a gal whose friends and lovers are trying to navigate life in 1980s Madrid.  Somehow, everyone keeps dropping by her apartment. Good thing Pepa keeps gazpacho on hand to serve company!

Along with Pepa, there’s her missing and possibly cheating lover, Ivan (Ryan Garlick), and Ivan’s ex-wife, Lucia (Shannon Rop), whose mental stability is highly questionable. Candela (Cassandra Jansma) is Pepa’s best friend.  She’s excited about her new boyfriend, Malik (Shawn Jansma), but he seems to have nefarious ties to a terrorist group. Carlos (Caleb Kellogg) is Ivan and Lucia’s son, and Marisa (Cynthia Karaba) is his girlfriend.

The Taxi Driver (Tim Addis) supplies Pepa with much needed advice and tissues, and more wisdom with shoulders to cry on come from Ivan’s Concierge (Charlotte Ambrose) and Pepa’s Concierge (Mercedes Gonzalez).  Others in the cast are:  Hector (Nathan LaLone), Rosalia (Mary McDonough), Paulina (April Bohjanen),the Repairman (Doug Christianson), and the Detective (Raymond Koren).

Kent Schuster directs “Women on the Verge.”  He has wanted to direct this show ever since hearing the movie was being adapted into a stage musical.  “I’ve always loved low-budget, independent, foreign films,” he explains. “I love the weirdness of them, and Pedro Almodovar is my favorite director.”

Kent is assisted on this production by a terrific staff. Musically, Katy McDonough takes on vocal direction and Skye Hayes handles instrumental direction.  Joseph Curry serves as Choreographer, Brittany Bassett as Tech Director, and Becky Tower as Costumer. Pat Cradit is the producer for this FRCP show.

Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. on July 7, 8, 14 and 15. There will be a 2:00 PM matinee on Sunday, July 9.  Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for seniors (60 and over), and $11 for students (18 and under).

General seating admission tickets are available at the Greenville Area Community Center during regular business hours Monday through Friday.  Tickets may be reserved online with MasterCard or VISA at www.flatriver.showclix.com (or by phone at 1-888-71-TICKETS).  Call the Players at (616) 754-8207 if you have questions or concerns.

The FRCP does caution parents.  “Women on the Verge” is a PG-13 rated show. It includes a little strong language and adult situations that may not be suitable for younger kids.

The trailer for the movie version of this show goes something like this:  “It’s a romance, but it’s not about love.  It’s a comedy, but not everyone’s laughing.  A deliriously deranged comedy that follows no rules, spares no victims, takes no prisoners.”  Yup, that’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” Don’t miss it!

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