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Sneak Peek! Designing Women, but Make it 2020: A Review of TheaterSquared’s Recent Play

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

We had originally planned to take the next couple of weeks off for the holidays. But, then we watched the recent Designing Women play and ended up with a special sweet treat for the podcast. Consider this your holiday gift from us!

We’ll start this week with a sneak peek of our reactions and we’ll be back next week with what we’re calling “The Full Sweet Tea & TV Treatment.”

Come on, let’s get into it! (OH! Since we recorded our episode, it's been announced that The Arkansas Reparatory Theater - or The Rep - will present their production of the play January 6-February 6, 2022. Visit their site for more information!)



Nikki: Hey, y'all.

Nikki: Welcome to the Sweet Tea and TV podcast.

Salina: We're doing something special this week.

Salina: And next, we're taking a little holiday break to be with our families, but we didn't want to leave you hanging.

Nikki: That's right.

Nikki: We've recorded a review of the recent.

Nikki: Designing Women play performed at Theater Squared.

Nikki: In Arkansas throughout the fall.

Nikki: It's no longer available, but there's a.

Nikki: Chance it could be available again at some point, so we didn't want to miss it.

Nikki: Hi, friends.

Nikki: Nikki from the future here.

Nikki: Since we recorded this episode, the Arkansas Repertory Theater announced their production of the Designing Women play will be on stage January 18 through February 6, 2022.

Nikki: Visit

Nikki: That's for more information.

Nikki: Now back to the show.

Salina: So, first up this week, we're each going to do a rapid fire review of the play as a teaser, and then next week, we'll give it the full sweet tea and TV treatment.

Speaker D: OOH.

Nikki: Rapid fire reviews.

Nikki: How about Selena goes first?

Salina: What a treat to see LBT.

Salina: In the wild.

Salina: Allah away from network TV, free to show us that she's not afraid of politics, the F word, or even a little controversy.

Salina: She's not lost her edge wit nor sharp tongue.

Salina: But we did lose Charlene somehow, who is only there for a fraction of the show.

Salina: We get two new faces anthony's cousin Cleo and Charlene's baby sister, Haley, both welcome additions.

Salina: For me, Cleo brings the LGBTQ and African American perspective, while Haley, a closeted feminist, is our local evangelical who finds her voice just in time for the standing ovation.

Salina: We found some southern references buckhead chickfila, and stuckey's pecan logs.

Salina: But, uhoh, where do we put our southern accents and our Mary Joe?

Nikki: The conflict was a bit of a.

Salina: Stretch, but I'm willing to bend.

Salina: And before it was all over, I found myself eating up the resolution we never really needed, because at the end of the day, LBT.

Salina: Knows how to write women showcase the special bonds we forge and pull on the heartstrings.

Salina: I am so here for it.

Salina: And now, nikki.

Nikki: Bye bye, big hair.

Nikki: So long shoulder pads.

Nikki: In Theater Squared's, recent play Designing Women entered the 21st century, and not quietly, they kicked in the dang door.

Nikki: We got LBT's unvarnished take on politics.

Nikki: COVID-19, women's rights, LGBTQ issues, and more.

Nikki: My two minute review will be a high low.

Nikki: High something I loved then, something I didn't.

Nikki: Then something I loved first.

Nikki: A high.

Nikki: The gang's all here.

Nikki: We had Julia, Suzanne, Charlene, a bonus charlene, her cousin Haley, or hattie if you're miss Suzanne Mary Joe, and a darn good stand in for Anthony and his cousin Cleo, who was such a high point of the play.

Nikki: Plus, we got a new love interest for Julia.

Nikki: Win Dollarhide now a low for me.

Nikki: Charlene.

Nikki: Where was Charlene?

Nikki: And more importantly, who was Charlene?

Nikki: That character did not resonate with me at all.

Nikki: A high.

Nikki: The content.

Nikki: If there was any question about whether LBT.

Nikki: Is still a world class writer, it has been resolved.

Nikki: She's the goat.

Nikki: All of the fan mail voicemail about.

Nikki: Julius blog nearly every one of Cleo's lines.

Nikki: I especially love that diatribe on adjectives at the beginning.

Nikki: The era of Anything Goes, if you have one of those is over so much good.

Nikki: I also appreciated the relevance of the content.

Nikki: Every reference was spot on.

Nikki: I have an honorable mention two part low, the accents and the form of a play.

Nikki: First, the accents were a little all over the place.

Nikki: Carmen Cusack nailed Julia at points I would have thought it was Dixie Carter if I'd had my eyes closed, but others were more off base and a little distracting.

Nikki: Also, a play was not my favorite way to consume an updated take on the ladies.

Nikki: That's totally a personal preference, though, and I'll still take it.

Nikki: I have an honorable mention.

Nikki: High win, dollar high.

Nikki: Just the whole package, from the actor.

Nikki: R word Duffy to the character itself.

Nikki: He took the good parts of Reese.

Nikki: Watson, the romantic parts, but he felt so much less misogynistic.

Nikki: I was heart eyes over him in general.

Nikki: I'm not sure what LBT Wanted to accomplish with this show.

Nikki: I don't know if her aim was to change conservative people's minds on issues or if she was preaching to the choir.

Nikki: The latter is honestly how it felt to me, which I think resonates if you're on that side of things but may have further distanced you if you're on the other side.

Nikki: Either way, I think it tracks with what we know and love of the characters and brought them into a time that.

Nikki: Resonates with younger viewers.

Nikki: I give it five stuckey's pecan logs.

Nikki All right.

Nikki: Come back next week for the full review.

Salina: We'll see you around the holiday bender.

Nikki: Bye.


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