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Top Girls

The opening scene of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls is as familiar as it is odd: a group of women gather over a meal and wine to talk about work, children and men. The conversations overlap, the women laugh and a cry, advice is shared. What makes Churchill’s version unique is that the six women span centuries in time including a 13th century Japanese courtesan, an adventurous, world traveling Victorian, and an overly dutiful Chaucerian wife. After this initial, high energy scene, the play focuses on the present-day life of the party’s host Marlene, a “ball breaking” career woman. Her story is told in seemingly disjointed episodes that when viewed together provide a sad but realistic commentary on the trials and joys of being a woman. Skillfully directed by Sherry Smith and filled with compelling, memorable performances, Top Girls is top-notch.

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