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Two girls and a laundromat

It’s a country music lover’s dream: a play consisting almost entirely of toe-tapping tunes from huge country music stars such as Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and the Dixie Chicks.

“The show basically is all music,” said Ric Munhall, dialogue director of Olympic Theatre Arts’ latest show, “Honky Tonk Laundry.”

The simple storyline begins as two country girls, Katie Lane, played by Claire Kathol, and Lana Mae Hopkins, played by Lorrie Kuss, meet by chance at Wishy Washy Washateria, the small-town Tennessee Laundromat that Hopkins owns and where Lane applies for a job.

Although there are only two characters in the play, the approximately two-hour show is gearing up to be a theatrical production: The women perform 24 songs, accompanied by pianist Darrell Plank, and go through at least five outrageous costume changes each — including matching red-fringed outfits complete with cowboy hats and boots and leopard-print jumpsuits.

The play, written by Roger Bean and performed for the first time in 2005, plays off southern homespun charm and colloquialisms; Lana Mae’s favorite line to customers is “Yes indeedy, these’ll be ready faster than two shakes of a rattler’s butt.”

Both women are experiencing heartbreak: Lana Mae has all but given up on a singing career after “five years of struggling with my music, five years of nothin’,” while Katie has gotten caught up with a boy named Danny who Lana Mae feels is “not all that.”

After OTA’s first attempt at dinner theater, February’s “Café Noir,” was a success, the group is trying it again with “Honky Tonk Laundry.” An hour before each performance, the group will present a dinner provided by the Sequim Elks Lodge.

“People enjoyed it last time,” Munhall said.

Although the play is mostly singing, the dialogue is pure comedy, said Munhall, especially with feisty Lana Mae. When Katie asks her boss if she’s going back to visit her hometown of Possum Flats, she gets a quick-witted response.

“Darlin’,” Lana Mae said. “I grew up in a place named after road kill.”



Ladies of Laundry

Who: Olympic Theatre Arts

What: “Honky Tonk Laundry,” a play featuring the music of country greats Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and LeAnn Rimes, written by Roger Bean, directed by Ric Munhall and musical director Tom Williamson

When: 6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. show on June 19-21, June 26-28 and July 1-2 and Sunday matinee time 1 p.m. dinner and 2 p.m. show on June 22 and June 29.

Where: Sequim Elks Lodge, 142 Port Williams Road

Ticket Info: Tickets are $35 including dinner and can be purchased online at http://members.tripod.com/olympic-theatre/index.htm.



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