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‘The Odd Couple’ meets chick flick

Hawkeye brings two-woman show to stage

August 12, 2012
By JOE SUTTER, , Messenger News

Hawkeye Community Theatre will continue its summer season with a story that's "like 'The Odd Couple,' mixed with a chick flick."

That's according to Sarah Smith, one of only two actors in "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking," which opens Tuesday.

Brandy Vrchoticky, of Fort Dodge, explained the set.

"This is my kitchen, my house," she said, in an interview before rehearsal last week. "It's in Westchester County, N.Y., which doesn't exist. It's a version of the Hamptons, a really high-up snobby area. I'm always doing 'things.' I read to the blind, I bake cookies, I'm in women's league, I'm in everything. I'm just busy busy busy. Everything's scheduled, everything's done.

"And in walks Hannah Mae from Texas and messes my world up."

While Vrchoticky's character Maud is quiet and reserved, Smith's Hannah Mae is "all bubbles and joy, no boundaries whatsoever," Vrchoticky said.

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Though Maud initially is looking for ways to get rid of Hannah Mae, they eventually learn they have more in common than they thought; both are encountering the same problems with life and with husbands.

Smith said it was a fun role to play.

"It's fun for me to play someone who's so very different from myself," she said. "There's nothing in Hannah Mae's wardrobe that I would wear myself. She's Southern, so that's been fun because I get to do an accent."

Fact Box

If you go:

Who: Hawkeye Community Theatre

What: "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking"

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 2 p.m. matinee Aug. 19

Where: Hawkeye Community Theatre, 521 N. 12th St.

Tickets: $10, available at the door, or at

"We're switched," she said. In real life, "she's the lawyer, I'm the drama teacher. Our clothes are switched, our roles are switched."

Carrying the whole play with just two players takes a lot of work.

"There's some good and some bad. She's my best friend, so it's just us doing a play together," Vrchoticky said. "We get to spend all this quality time making fun of each other on stage.

"The bad thing is, there's only two people in the play. We have all the lines."

How are those lines coming, anyway?

"We're getting there," Smith said. "We have the scripts out of our hands, which, that's when rehearsal really starts to get fun."

Both women have been acting with Hawkeye Theatre for about five years. In fact, they met doing a play at the theater.

"We became fast friends, and now we get to do a show about two very different women becoming fast friends," Smith said.

The play is directed by Dave Stokesbary. of Gowrie, who has been directing with Hawkeye since the building was first purchased. He said this play was chosen because it was easy to cast.

"It's difficult - in August, everybody's on vacation. So it's difficult to cast a play," he said. "It was done off-broadway with Susan Sarandon and Eileen Brennan in the lead roles. I thought if those two could do it, it should be an interesting play.

"In this play, for me it's about empowerment. It puts these two mismatched people together, and each of them find out a little bit about empowerment. Sometimes we don't find it in a wonderful way. Sometimes we find it in an ugly, clumsy way."

Stokesbary enjoyed working with this cast.

"When you're doing a play, you have to find it. The words on a page don't convey everything," he said. "It's kind of, how do we deliver this, what's the motivation or what's the mood.

"It's good working with Brandy and Sarah, because they really want to find it."



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