The romantic comedy, yet another offering of homegrown artistry, is set to play at the Alliance Theatre in Midtown as part of its world premiere run today through Feb. 9.
Atlanta-based playwright Janece Shaffer’s coming-of-age period piece boasts a dynamic ensemble cast, including Shaffer project favorites like Courtenay Collins.
The longtime Sandy Springs resident, cast in the role of the titular characters' comically neurotic mother, has been singing the praises of “The Geller Girls” and its creator.
“This is such a nice gift that the Alliance is affording its actors and its audience because it’s going to be a visual feast,” said Collins. “As an actor, it’s thrilling to say Jenece’s words. ... She’s a cross between [playwrights] Terrence McNally and Nora Ephron because she writes with such a sense of place.”
The narrative centers on young Jewish sisters Rosalee (Courtney Patterson) and Louisa (Ann Marie Gideon) Geller on the eve of Atlanta’s Cotton States Exposition of 1895. The flashpoint event brings change and uncertainty to the Geller girls as well as charming New York City interloper Charles Heyman (Joe Sykes).
In addition to its writing and casting depth, the play is also likely to benefit from the direction of Artistic Director Susan V. Booth.
The production is generating a fair amount of early buzz for, among other attributes, stark attention to detail and its grasp of the subtle splendor of nuance regarding wardrobe and production design. Such positives lend credibility to the attempted execution of a story set in late 19th-century Atlanta.
“Jenece is a third-generation Atlantan,” Collins said. “She loves this city and she’s got a good bead on things here. … She’s able to capture it as it is.
“And, everybody can identify with her characters. She also asks a lot of questions in her plays that most people are too scared to. … She just throws it out there.”
IF YOU GO:
o What: 'The Geller Girls'
o When: through Feb. 9
o Where: The Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St., Midtown
o Tickets: Start at $30
o Information: www.alliancetheatre.org