They’re back again: The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County

They are desperate: Amy Friebke, Meg Dooley, Diedre Bollinger & Cathy Lee-Visscher. Photo by Mike Molinski.

They are desperate: Amy Friebke, Meg Dooley, Diedre Bollinger & Cathy Lee-Visscher. Photo by Mike Molinski.

Taconic Stage Company and Mac-Haydn Theatre have a perfect recipe for a girls’ night out on Mondays this August. The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County, a hilarious musical revue loosely based on those ubiquitous TV shows, is essentially a friendly (and boozy) battle between the weekenders and the locals in Columbia County, NY.

The musical numbers are all original songs such as, “Don’t Fool Around on Your Broker,” “Shop Till You Drop,” “A Good Handyman is Hard to Find,” and “It Isn’t Easy Being a Bitch.”

The limited run is four performances – Mondays, August 1 and 15, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Mac-Haydn Theatre, 1925 Route 203 in Chatham, NY. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling 518-392-9292 or go to www.machaydntheatre.org.

Part of Mac-Haydn’s Monday night series, the show stars Diedre Bollinger, Meg Dooley, Amy Fiebke and Cathy Lee-Visscher, with accompaniment by Joe Rose. It was written by the same team who brought audiences to their feet last summer at Mac-Haydn with I Know I Came in Here for Something…

“Part of the reason we’re doing the show again is that these wonderful, talented actresses just LOVE performing it – and their obvious affection for the material rubs off on the audience. And don’t let the girls’ night out reference fool you – men have been known to howl just as loudly as the ladies!” said Carl Ritchie, founder or Taconic Theater Company and writer of Housewives.

Housewives, which also features music by L. A. composer Wayne Moore, played a sold-out season at Copake Lake a few summers ago, as well as other sold-out runs in NYC at the Laurie Beechman Theatre and at Mac-Haydn in July 2014.

Backstage (NYC) raved, “Theatrical gold – I was so busy jotting down Ritchie’s clever lyrics that I almost didn’t have time to laugh. Anyone who pairs ‘gin and tonics’ with ‘Manolo Blahniks’ is aces in my book. It is a fun, fizzy, and fast cocktail.”

Ritchie has had successes off-Broadway as well in his native Canada. Formerly artisitc director of the Copake Theatre Company, he is now beginning his sixth season as artistic director of Taconic Stage Company. Moore has dozens of musical credits and is currently playing the national tour of “I Love Lucy Live!” Accompanist Rose lives in West Stockbridge, MA, and graduated from Brown University with a degree in music, specializing in electronic music. Since then he’s been a career musician primarily involved with recording, live performance and teaching.

Bollinger is a gypsy of the arts, amid stagecrafts (performance, production and management), metaphysics, horticulture and landscape design. Performance credits, from community to off-off Broadway, include: straight, musical and children’s theatre; staged readings, improv, murder mysteries, legal training programs, puppetry and voice; cabaret, choirs, industrials and film. She has appeared in all of Ritchie’s musical revues.

Dooley reprises her role of Melody, the bitchy weekender. She recently played Jack’s mother in Into the Woods at the Mac-Haydn and will be featured in The Cocktail Hour at The Theater Barn in September. Other favorite roles at the Mac-Haydn include Tessie Tura (Gypsy), Mrs. Sowerberry (Oliver!), Mrs. Higgins (My Fair Lady) and Mother Lord (High Society).

Fiebke returns to the Mac-Haydn after a 33 year hiatus. She has appeared in regional theater, national tours and on cruise ships. Favorite roles include: Mrs. Tottendale, The Drowsy Chaperone; Vicki Nichols, The Full Monty; Agnes, I Do, I Do! (Capital Region Newspaper Award Best Musical Actor 2007, directed by Ritchie); Dawn Larue, Bye, Bye Broadway (U.S. Premiere, written by Ritchie).

Lee-Visscher has theatrical experience spanning more than 30 years as both actor and director. Her extensive background includes community, stock and equity theatre productions, as well as commercial and feature film work. She is a founding member of the Ghent Playhouse and is currently their artistic director. People may recognize Lee-Visscher from her appearances with The Pantoloons or I Know I Came in Here for Something last summer at Mac-Haydn.

Taconic Stage Company is a 501 (3) non-profit sponsored by Herringtons, Inc. and Brad Peck Insurance/The Lofgren Agency.

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