Doug Bechtel photo
Left to right: Melinda Milligan, Suzanne Gropper, Dorrie Braun and Diane Craig.

Doug Bechtel photo Left to right: Melinda Milligan, Suzanne Gropper, Dorrie Braun and Diane Craig.

‘Savannah Sipping Society’ opens at the Grange | Play review

Live theatre is back at the Grange, and it was a triumph.

The chemistry and connection between Dorrie Braun, Diane Craig, Suzanne Gropper and Melinda Milligan was shining bright during the opening weekend of “The Savannah Sipping Society” presented by the Actors Theatre of Orcas Island.

What happens when four unique Southern women meet unexpectedly and join forces to reinvigorate each other’s lives?

A little bit of magic.

Braun expertly teeters between poise and hysterics as the sophisticated, tightly wound Randa. Craig’s comedic timing is perfect as the lovable, earnest Dot. Milligan brings her powerful stage presence as the sassy and sardonic Marlafaye. And Gropper’s portrayal of the fearless, spontaneous Jinx is both uninhibited and heartfelt.

The actors deftly volley back and forth the fast-paced dialogue, which is peppered with hilarious one-liners from start to finish. Two of my favorites: “Here’s to living single and drinking doubles” and “Enough butter and love can fix anything.”

The play was written by American playwright team Jessie Jones, Jamie Wooten and Nicholas Hope, who specialize in laugh-out-loud comedies that feature strong roles for women.

Director Doug Bechtel’s care and dedication to the show were evident by the actors’ fluidity, well-staged scenes and exemplary transitions. The production features cameos from DD Glaze and Annette Mazzarella, and the behind-the-scenes crew includes stage manager Alice Hachee, stagehand Barbara Nigretto, light operator Keith Light, sound operator Tom Fiscus and set designers Lynda Sanders and Thelma McTavish.

The Actors Theater of Orcas Island continues its run of “The Savannah Sipping Society” on Sunday, Sept. 5 and Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 9 – 12. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

All theatre-goers are expected to be fully vaccinated and to wear a mask while inside the building. Tickets are $10 and are available at Darvill’s Book Store, online or at the door.