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Mid-City Theatre strikes gold with 'Golden Girls'

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The Golden Girls

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For those that followed the TV misadventures of four elderly Miami women in NBC's "The Golden Girls," there is a bit of deja vu in the air lingering at Mid-City Theatre. For those who remember the very funny situation comedy starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McLanahan and Estelle Getty, this material will be as familiar as shoulders pads.

The cast of "The Golden Girls," now running through January 18, is composed of mostly cross-dressing comic actors including the very funny Varla Jean Merman, Sean Patterson, Brooklyn Shaffer and Ricky Graham. Also on stage in supporting roles are Brian Johnston and Jefferson Turner.

The three TV scripts have been honed into two acts complete with cutaway fake commercials and commercials for zany products that will probably never seen the light of day again.

While the action on stage mostly concerns men dressing and portraying women's roles, the fact is these actors are so good they make true believers of audience members. Merman's exploits have already established her persona as one of the best in the business, but Graham's turn as "Shirley Valentine" last year and Patterson's romp as Edna Turnblad in Le Petit's production of "Hairspray" also qualifies him as one of the best comic female impersonators. Shaffer's portrayals in various Running with Scissors Productions shows also have established several memorable characters.

The situations the characters of Dorothy (Patterson), her mother Estelle (Graham), their oversexed roommate Blanche (Merman) and their clueless cohabitant Rose (Shaffer) get into are predictable, but it is a gloriously funny exercise in well-crafted comedy.

This is one show that will be extremely hard to get tickets to and those that already have them should be grateful. The box office is presently selling tickets for the next two weekends' shows (some are already sold out). This weekend's shows and almost all of the previous shows have been sold out or nearly so.

"The Golden Girls" continues at the Mid-City Theatre now through January 18. For tickets call 504-488-1460 or click here.

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