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Five Women Wearing the Same Dress

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During an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tennessee, estate, five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below. They are Frances, a painfully sweet but sheltered fundamentalist; Mindy, the cheerful, wise-cracking lesbian sister of the groom; Georgeanne, whose heartbreak over During an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tennessee, estate, five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below. They are Frances, a painfully sweet but sheltered fundamentalist; Mindy, the cheerful, wise-cracking lesbian sister of the groom; Georgeanne, whose heartbreak over her own failed marriage triggers outrageous behavior; Meredith, the bride's younger sister whose precocious rebelliousness masks a dark secret; and Trisha, a jaded beauty whose die-hard cynicism about men is called into question when she meets Tripp, a charming bad-boy usher to whom there is more than meets the eye. As the afternoon wears on, these five very different women joyously discover a common bond in this wickedly funny, irreverent and touching celebration of the women's spirit.


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During an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tennessee, estate, five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below. They are Frances, a painfully sweet but sheltered fundamentalist; Mindy, the cheerful, wise-cracking lesbian sister of the groom; Georgeanne, whose heartbreak over During an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tennessee, estate, five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below. They are Frances, a painfully sweet but sheltered fundamentalist; Mindy, the cheerful, wise-cracking lesbian sister of the groom; Georgeanne, whose heartbreak over her own failed marriage triggers outrageous behavior; Meredith, the bride's younger sister whose precocious rebelliousness masks a dark secret; and Trisha, a jaded beauty whose die-hard cynicism about men is called into question when she meets Tripp, a charming bad-boy usher to whom there is more than meets the eye. As the afternoon wears on, these five very different women joyously discover a common bond in this wickedly funny, irreverent and touching celebration of the women's spirit.

30 review for Five Women Wearing the Same Dress

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

    It was completely unforgettable as I read it that it is a man writing the conversations of five women. Trite, superficial dialogue, petty obstacles and one-dimensional characters: I guess "stick to what you know" need not apply to Alan Ball. It was completely unforgettable as I read it that it is a man writing the conversations of five women. Trite, superficial dialogue, petty obstacles and one-dimensional characters: I guess "stick to what you know" need not apply to Alan Ball.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    This was a an okay script, a little dated. In the early 90's I could see some of the themes as being relevant, but nowadays, not so much. The edition that I read contained a few word choices that I would want to change if I was producing this play: 1) referring to gay men as "f-gs" just isn't acceptable anymore, and 2) We don't really talk about "catching AIDS" anymore... when we talk about this virus today, we are smart enough to at least refer to it as HIV. I guess this play could be produced This was a an okay script, a little dated. In the early 90's I could see some of the themes as being relevant, but nowadays, not so much. The edition that I read contained a few word choices that I would want to change if I was producing this play: 1) referring to gay men as "f-gs" just isn't acceptable anymore, and 2) We don't really talk about "catching AIDS" anymore... when we talk about this virus today, we are smart enough to at least refer to it as HIV. I guess this play could be produced set in the 90's, but I don't think that was the author's intention. It was meant to be timeless, which it is not. And so I think that is the biggest obstacle for this script. The jokes, the situations, they feel a little stale. On the "pro" side, here is a comedy with a 90% female cast. 3/5

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jay DeVine

    What happens at the wedding, stays at the wedding. This play is a comedy about five disparate bridesmaids at a wedding. It looks at how they feel about the wedding and life in general. Not a bad play, but not a great play either. The dialogue is good, pacing is very good, I actually wanted this to be longer.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Pretty good. Slightly dated, but I'd be interested in ironing those things out for a production. 5 women, 1 man & could be a fun opportunity to costume design & build 5 copies of The Dress (or a budget challenge to borrow them!) Interesting characters, a few good monologues Pretty good. Slightly dated, but I'd be interested in ironing those things out for a production. 5 women, 1 man & could be a fun opportunity to costume design & build 5 copies of The Dress (or a budget challenge to borrow them!) Interesting characters, a few good monologues

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    This is a great contemporary play. There are five nice sized female roles, all slightly stereotypical, but weirdly balanced. The play is easy to design set and discusses lots of interesting topics well.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Young

    Enjoyable, true, intense, funny and ultimately unresolved, just like life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Trent Gillespie

    Crass, funny, and poignant. Just finished performing this show to great reviews. Love it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    A fun, witty play, an early work by the screenwriter of American Beauty and Six Feet Under. Five bridesmaids trying to escape the wedding reception meet in the room of the sister of the bride. Perhaps it's because all of them secretly can't stand bride, or because their old high school flame Tommy Valentine is there flirting left and right, but whatever it is they pour out their hearts with the sensitivity and self-derision typical of Ball's writing. Very enjoyable. A fun, witty play, an early work by the screenwriter of American Beauty and Six Feet Under. Five bridesmaids trying to escape the wedding reception meet in the room of the sister of the bride. Perhaps it's because all of them secretly can't stand bride, or because their old high school flame Tommy Valentine is there flirting left and right, but whatever it is they pour out their hearts with the sensitivity and self-derision typical of Ball's writing. Very enjoyable.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Eh, mediocre. Some of the dialogue was humourous in that "hanging out with the gals" kind of way though much of it droned on. Nothing really special to further elaborate on since "Sex & the City" seems to sum it up in a snappier fashion. Eh, mediocre. Some of the dialogue was humourous in that "hanging out with the gals" kind of way though much of it droned on. Nothing really special to further elaborate on since "Sex & the City" seems to sum it up in a snappier fashion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Day

    I liked this. While it's a little dated and it goes to some weird places it never fully explores, (and I really didn't care much for the end), it's an interesting character study with a good balance of laughs and seriousness. 3.5 stars I liked this. While it's a little dated and it goes to some weird places it never fully explores, (and I really didn't care much for the end), it's an interesting character study with a good balance of laughs and seriousness. 3.5 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Schieffelbein

    This was a fun play. I was looking for a cutting for my HS speech team, and unfortunately I don't think I will find anything appropriate, but I really enjoyed it anyway. The women have a sharp wit, an the dialogue feels natural. It had it's dark moments, but it was handled well. This was a fun play. I was looking for a cutting for my HS speech team, and unfortunately I don't think I will find anything appropriate, but I really enjoyed it anyway. The women have a sharp wit, an the dialogue feels natural. It had it's dark moments, but it was handled well.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    it's been a while, but how can you go wrong with Alan Ball? it's been a while, but how can you go wrong with Alan Ball?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    The next show I am designing. Therefore I reserve my opinion until after I am told what the vision of the show is.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I like this book cause I played Frances and I was amazing!!! lol I probably would have liked it less if it didn't make me a star. I like this book cause I played Frances and I was amazing!!! lol I probably would have liked it less if it didn't make me a star.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    First full length play I ever directed!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lisamarie

    Disappointing compared to his one-act plays.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Saundra Brewer

    This play, which we'll read this month for Readers' Theatre, was amusing and fun, but I wouldn't give it a rave. This play, which we'll read this month for Readers' Theatre, was amusing and fun, but I wouldn't give it a rave.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Alan Ball's play is PHENOMENAL. Alan Ball's play is PHENOMENAL.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    One of my favorite plays and the best experience I've had on stage in a long time. One of my favorite plays and the best experience I've had on stage in a long time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Another variation on The Big Chill/Fifth of July. It should be its own genre in contemporary theatre. Funny and interesting but not substantive.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    GBCT: Too much language, sex, drug use, religion to be appropriate. Not my cup of tea at all.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leonard

    Not nearly as trite or cliche as the title makes it sound. Not entirely sold on the neat and tidy ending, but again, better than I thought it would be.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Misti

    Some funny moments, but with the language, drug usage, adultery, homosexuality, and negative religious views, it would push our very conservative community theatre audience over the edge.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    Some excellent moments, but rather forgettable as a script. It's likely a live performance would be much better. Still, I prefer it when a play is just as a good of a read as it is a performance. Some excellent moments, but rather forgettable as a script. It's likely a live performance would be much better. Still, I prefer it when a play is just as a good of a read as it is a performance.

  25. 4 out of 5

    J.N. Lewis

    This play had me laughing the whole way through... can't wait to audition for it in the fall! This play had me laughing the whole way through... can't wait to audition for it in the fall!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    A simple and fulfilling play.

  27. 5 out of 5

    R.K. Cowles

    3 1/4 stars

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    A very enjoyable comic play with some seriously serious themes running throughout. I COULD have seen the first production, in NYC, at Manhattan Class Company (Robert LuPone's company. He is EVITA's Patti LuPone's brother) because I lived in NYC at that time, and I saw other excellent productions there...but, sadly, I did NOT see this one. And I also did not see a local community theatre production because I had not even heard of the company at the time it was staged (Hard Bargain Players in Acco A very enjoyable comic play with some seriously serious themes running throughout. I COULD have seen the first production, in NYC, at Manhattan Class Company (Robert LuPone's company. He is EVITA's Patti LuPone's brother) because I lived in NYC at that time, and I saw other excellent productions there...but, sadly, I did NOT see this one. And I also did not see a local community theatre production because I had not even heard of the company at the time it was staged (Hard Bargain Players in Accokeek, MD), but I HAVE seen the photos on the company website, and I know three of the five woman from since having worked at that theatre. Glad I read this piece, it made me laugh, and entertained me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    I had only heard of this play as a poster for it sits upon the door at ACT. Very good play where five different woman (or so you think) are all bridesmaids for the unseen Tracy. Alan successfully balances unique personalities in a single room. You can picture these characters as you read the script and I would love to see it done. I feel it would be a challenge for any director to keep the pace fresh and flowing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Neil

    I have to agree with those who find this forgettable. It reads like a mediocre television script. Five women of different types hide out in a bedroom during a reception for different reasons, mostly relating to the fact that they don't like the bride or are disappointed by a man. It's not terribly profound, and not funny enough to overcome that. The search for strong plays that emphasize women and will draw audiences continues... I have to agree with those who find this forgettable. It reads like a mediocre television script. Five women of different types hide out in a bedroom during a reception for different reasons, mostly relating to the fact that they don't like the bride or are disappointed by a man. It's not terribly profound, and not funny enough to overcome that. The search for strong plays that emphasize women and will draw audiences continues...

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