Archway Theatre’s “The Women” is an immersive, site-specific production to be staged inside the Pinup Girl Boutique in Burbank
It has been billed as the theatrical event of the season: a fully immersive, site-specific production of a modern classic presented inside a women’s vintage clothing boutique.
Pinup Girl Boutique presents www.archwayla.com production of “The Women” 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, April 6 through April 21. Tickets are $32 general, and $16 for seniors or students.
“The Women,” by Clare Boothe Luce, is a play by a woman, for women, and featuring only women on the stage. Eighteen actresses will play a combined total of 37 roles in this often hilarious, and sometimes poignant play about women and their relationships. The various scenes of the play will be staged inside the boutique, where the audience will be completely surrounded by the setting.
“We couldn’t have dreamed of a better place to present this totally immersive theatrical experience. Pinup Girl Boutique has created another world within their doors, and we are ecstatic about bringing this story into that world,” said Archway producing artistic director Steven Sabel.
Several of the scenes in the play take place in locations such as a women’s department store, a beauty salon, and a women’s lounge. All of which make the boutique the perfect setting, said Sabel, who will also direct the play.
Taking the immersive experience to an exciting new level, the costuming of the show will feature Pinup Girl Boutique’s original lines of vintage inspired clothing. Many of the actresses will be wearing clothing available to patrons in their own size, right off the rack.
“It’s going to be such a magnificent display of talent, beauty, fashion, and storytelling in an absolutely perfect surrounding,” Sabel said.
Stage to Film and Back Again
First written for the stage by Clare Boothe Luce in 1936, “The Women,” the play quickly became the basis for a major Hollywood motion picture in 1939, filled with female star power the likes of Norma Shearer, Jane Russell, Joan Crawford and many other notables. The film was directed by George Cukor, and became an instant classic.
Luce revised the script in 1964, with very little change to the original text and characters. Later Broadway revivals experienced success through celebrity casting of television and film stars, and a 2008 modernized remake of the film featured Diane Keaton, Meg Ryan, and Jada Pinkett Smith leading an all-star cast.
“The text is truly timeless,” said Sabel. “Clare Luce was a brilliant writer who captured the many aspects of womanhood surrounding her in her life, and she depicts those aspects with a Swiftian sharpness to the point of her pen.”
Sabel says his production is set in the period of the revised edition of the script, making the Pinup Girl Boutique even more perfect as a location for the production.
“The 1964 script is what they license now. It’s fantastic! It’s like ‘Mad Men,’ but it’s ‘The Women,’” Sabel said. Pinup Girl Boutique fashions are a perfect fit.
A Constant Fashion Show
Cukor’s 1939 film was revolutionary for its more than 130 speaking roles all played by women. Another noteworthy feature of the mostly black and white film is a nearly 10-minute sequence filmed in Technicolor presenting a ladies fashion show right in the middle of the movie.
“In Cukor’s sequence, he features designs by costumer Gilbert Adrian. Later on the film, the leading actresses are wearing variations of Adrian’s designs. In our homage to that, our entire production is going to be a fashion show,” said Sabel.
In addition to a playbill, audiences will receive a “fashion card” outlining the garments used in the production by character, act, and scene. The details will include the available colors, prints and sizes, with a link to where the garment can be purchased at the Pinup Girl Boutique website.
“If you see an actress wearing something in Act One that you just can’t live without, you can purchase it in your size, right from your phone at intermission,” said Sabel. “See something else you love in Act Two, and then buy it with a click right after the curtain call,” he said.
Archway Theatre Company’s “The Women”
April 6 – April 21
Fridays & Saturdays at 8PM
Pinup Girl Boutique
3606 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
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