Written by Henry S. Kanesberg for THE ARTISTS FORUM MAGAZINE
Edited by Amos White V for THE ARTISTS FORUM, INC
Photos: Courtesy of That Golden Girls Show!
4 out of 5 stars
THAT GOLDEN GIRLS SHOW!
QUEENS, NY (April 11, 2022) As fan of the popular 80’s TV sitcom The Golden Girls, I found myself very curious to find out how this entity could be translated from a television series into a live puppet theatre show! So, I headed out to the Queens Theatre, located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on the grounds of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. It’s adjacent to the famous Unisphere, making for great photo ops.
The February 20th presentation of That Golden Girls Show! was held in The Claire Shulman Theatre, the largest of the Queens Theatre’s three performance spaces. Live actors performed segments from the original show, which originally aired on NBC beginning 1985. Each actor played a specific part, holding a large scale hand puppet representing one of the four iconic characters. The puppets were created by Rockefeller Productions. The show, written by Doug Kmiotek, was directed by Michael Hull.
The main characters of Sophia (Miranda Cooper), Blanche (Lu Zielinski) and Rose (Samantha Lee Mason) were performed by female actors. The role of Dorothy was performed by a male actor (Dylan Glick), who was very effective with his husky voice, similar to Bea Arthur in the original show.
The stage set was quite effective, splitting the stage in two rooms – the familiar kitchen (where most of the action takes place) and the living room. The actors moved seamlessly between the two rooms.
The actors performed their roles very well, emphasizing the particular characteristic of each role as we remembered from the original TV show. The weakest part of the production was the selection of the specific scenes. It over emphasized more of the insults that each character was noted for. While humorous at first, I found it too repetitive for an 80 minute production.
However, the mostly middle-aged audience was quite familiar with the original show and able to recall some of the key features from the iconic TV show. Overall, the performances made for a very unique and entertaining experience, and left the audience in good spirits.
What was most special about this performance was that it was the first live theater production at the Queens Theatre since it shut down in March 2020 due to Covid-19. The mostly sold-out theater was very enthusiastic to have live theater back in this very impressive entertainment center.
And, while the show’s run has ended in Queens, there is still another chance to view the play in Manhattan! The Final Farewell Tour of That Golden Girls Show! will be playing on Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street) for 4 weeks beginning April 29th. Special 20% off pricing is available now until April 14th with the code DOROTHY20
For more information about The Golden Girls Show!, visit: That Golden Girls Show!
For more information about The Queens Theatre, visit: queenstheatre.org
For more information about Theatre Row, visit: theatrerow.com