Four feisty Southern belles drawn from the hit TV show “Designing Women” are bringing edgy laughs and country charm to the Tybee Post Theater in the new drag parody “Designed Women.”
Kansas City’s Late Night Theatre brings their own hysterical spin on the well-loved 1980s sitcom, which runs from Jan. 31 through Feb. 9, and follows the misadventures of the Sugarbaker sisters and co-workers at their Atlanta interior design firm.
The troupe returns to Tybee Island fresh off a sold-out run of their drag parody of another iconic 1980s sitcom “Golden Girls,” a gut-busting drag tribute to its female powerhouse TV format.
Expect more Southern charm and racy rapport with “Designed Women” which follows Julia Sugarbaker, president of the design firm; her sister Suzanne, an ex-beauty queen; Mary, a divorced mother; and naive country girl, Charlene; as they navigate sex, love and politics in a Georgia metropolis.
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Kansas City players Ron Megee and Chadwick Brooks return to Tybee Island as the Sugarbaker sisters, after making a hilarious splash in their most recent tour as the Golden Girls in “Golden Girls Gone Wild.”
Megee says he was a huge fan of the show “Designing Women” during its seven-season run on television and is honored to take on lead role of Julia Sugarbaker.
“She is such a hardworking, strong, opinionated character. Her character was never afraid to say how she felt about a situation,” Megee said. “Also, I love getting to wear power 1980s costumes. Come on, the shoulder pads are everything.”
When looking for shows to cover for their next comedy tour, the Kansas City troupe said “Designing Women” was a goldmine for material, covering racy topics and edgy subjects, with a splash of glamour and panache, making it perfect for a drag tribute.
“The material of this classic sitcom is ripe for drag parody and true camp theater. This show never shied away from hot topics, and we, at Late Night Theatre, love to stage a show where the banter, actions, and stories bring a sweet chemistry come alive,” Megee said.
“Mix into that equation drag: with females playing males and males playing females and the dynamic goes out of this world,” he added.
During it’s successful run of 163 episodes stretched across seven television seasons, “Designing Women” was hailed as a showcase of the modern American woman – strong, opiniated and entrepreneurial. With its lineup set next to another strong female-led show “Murphy Brown,” the pair of successful shows carried female-centered protagonists and storylines through the 1980s and into the early 1990s.
The sitcom’s fanbase was so devoted, they petitioned CBS to save the show when the network mulled canceling the program, and it would eventually go on to be a top-30 TV hit for three straight seasons pulling CBS out of a ratings slump in the late 1980s.
Kansas City Late Night Theatre promises a true tribute to the original show, complete with 1980s-era costumes and makeup, and musical numbers paying homage to what made it such a larger-than-life decade.
Thirty years later, Megee says the message and attitude of the ladies of “Designing Women” is just as relevant ever, making for a great message in today’s social climate.
“It was able to look at current events and put a sitcom’s humor mirror up to it including serious subject matter, like body image and misogyny, that is still relevant today,” Megee noted. “We are talking about four strong women that fight for their heritage, friends, and family—what is there not to love about that?”
“Designed Women” will feature six performances at the Tybee Post theater, running Friday through Sunday, Jan. 31-Feb. 9.