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Entertainment

Festival 56 will present ‘Five Women Wearing the Same Dress’ July 18-23

Robert Tobin of the AstonRep Theatre in Chicago directs Festival 56’s production of “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.”
Robert Tobin of the AstonRep Theatre in Chicago directs Festival 56’s production of “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.”

PRINCETON — Festival 56 will present “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” a comedy-drama written by prize-winning screenwriter Alan Ball and directed by Robert Tobin, artistic director of Chicago’s AstonRep Theatre. The play will run from Tuesday, July 18, through Sunday, July 23, at the Grace Performing Arts Center in Princeton.

In “Five Women,” audiences can expect much of the same insightful, character-driven scenes that propelled Ball’s film American Beauty to international recognition, only with a lighter touch. The play takes place in a bedroom in an ostentatious Knoxville, Tenn., home. Five bridesmaids have congregated there to escape wedding reception festivities downstairs. Each has her own fraught relationship with the bride and her own complex past.

The bedroom belongs to Meredith, the bride’s rebellious and sarcastic sister. The other four bridesmaids are Georgeanne, the bride’s unattractive high school friend with an explosive secret; Frances, a naïve and religious cousin of the bride; Mindy, the bridegroom’s lesbian sister; and Trisha, a beauty with a reputation for casual affairs. Trisha begins a flirtation with Tripp, one of the ushers and the only male to appear onstage.

Alan Ball is best known for “American Beauty,” which won five Academy Awards as well as Golden Globes for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. He created the television shows Six Feet Under and True Blood, works that have won him an Emmy and numerous accolades from Writers, Directors, and Producers Guilds.

Festival 56’s production of “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress” is sponsored by Flowers by Julia and Hoffman’s Patterns of the Past. Season sponsors are Heartland Bank and Trust Company, Princeton Tourism and Visitors Bureau, and the National Endowment for the Performing Arts.

The Grace Performing Arts Center is located at 316 S. Main St. in Princeton and is completely accessible with ample parking nearby. To purchase tickets, visit www.festival56.com, call 815-879-5656, email boxoffice@festival56.com or stop by the theater. The box office is open noon to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and one hour before performances. Tickets are $29, $26 (seniors 65 plus) and $14 for students. Beer, wine, soft drinks and the famous Festival 56 cheesecake are available for sale at the lobby bar. For further information, call the box office at 815-879-5656.

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