The Duxbury Players present The Savannah Sipping Society

Is Mercury in retrograde? I only have these issues when Mercury is in retrograde. This review was supposed to be out last week but I have had nothing but technical difficulties since I saw a preview of this show. Disclaimer: My digital camera had o juice so I had to use my phone – so please forgive the quality.

Nancy Haywood Semcken as Marlafaye, Cara Lee Mazza as Jinx, Bonnie Gardner as Randa and Carol Mirotta as Dot in the Duxbury Bay Players’ “The Savannah Sipping Society”

One afternoon while I was in the break room at work, a woman named Denise had come in for her break and we started chatting. All of a sudden she said, “You’re single aren’t you?” Not really knowing where she was going with that I slowly answered “Um, yeah?” LOL. She then proceeded to ask me what the chances were that I could save up enough money to go to Aruba in a year. “Pretty good!” I replied. And so it began. One of the most significant relationships of my life. 21 years later (6 years ago) Denise passed away way too early. Her family let me add some of my pictures for the board that they were going to have at her funeral. As I was going through my photo albums, looking for the best pictures to send, I started to realize that some of the best moments of my life were shared with her. I wondered, would I have even had those moments and experiences had I not met her?

Me & Denise in the middle of her brother and Mom on a trip to California

The Savanna Sipping Society made me think of this.
A group of women meet after a hot yoga session and discover that they have a lot in common. One of them makes a joke about getting together for “Happy Hour” which the others take seriously and invite themselves over to her house on Friday night for a girls night. And so it begins.

The Savanna Sipping Society is an absolutely adorable, sweet, endearing show about friendship. About how we meet people accidentally (or not) and how those relationships validate that old saying that “people are in your life for a reason.”
As I sat there watching the show next to director Theresa Chiasson, I leaned over to her at one point and I whispered to her “This is my life!” I think many audience members who attend the show are going to feel the same way and this is what makes The Savannah Sipping Society so enjoyable – it’s real life.

Theresa agrees. “The theme of THE SAVANNAH SIPPING SOCIETY, in my mind, is that we can get through anything with good friends by our side,” says Chiasson. “We all face disappointments and sorrows but, with someone to lighten the load or simply listen to the tale, all will be as it should. And how much more joyful the good times are when shared with those we love.”

The women in The Savannah Sipping Society are delightful. I was thoroughly entertained by each one. Bonnie Gardner plays Randa, a workaholic attorney who was let go at her law firm and without work, has no idea what to do with her life.

“I’d read the script and saw another production of this show before; I loved the characters and thought it was hilarious.”

Nancy Haywood Semcken plays Marlafaye, a southern spitfire whose husband has left her for a 23 year old.

“Although not a show with which I was familiar, I had heard that it was tightly written and off the charts funny. As one matures, opportunities for roles, especially amazing ones like these, are not offered that often.”

Carol Mirotta plays Dot, a new widow struggling to adjust to life alone.

“I saw there was a place for a ‘mature’ woman in this production and I jumped at the opportunity!”

Cara Lee Mazza Chamberlain plays Jinx, the youngest of the group who came to town to live with and care for her ill sister.

“I had worked with our director, Theresa, before when I played Truvy in Steel Magnolias. When I saw she was doing another show about powerful, southern women, I had to audition for her and get involved.”

The actresses were all very natural and their energy was infectious. There was an organic feel to the relationships between these women which lent to the realness of the show which is how audiences will be able to relate so well.

The costumes were donated by Hingham Civic Music Theater with some pieces made by Richard Sherman. The costumes fit each of the characters both figuratively as well as literally and were so vibrant against the subtle backdrops of the beautifully crafted set. They really popped. And speaking of the set, it was designed by longtime Bay Players member Ricky Bowser. I am a big Ricky Bowser fan. LOL. She has been designing the sets for the Bay Players for several years now and they are always amazing. This set was no different. I was instantly transported to Randa’s Georgia back porch.
I am going to stop here because I don’t want to give anything away. Suffice it to be said that The Savanna Sipping Society is definitely a show worth seeing. You will fall in love with these four ladies, you will relate to them, you will laugh – hysterically – and you might just even become verklemped for a moment – but above all you will walk away thinking of the friends who have become some of the most important people in your life.

The Savanna Sipping Society runs for one more weekend at the first Parish Church 842 Tremont St. in Duxbury Massachusetts. February 28th and 29th at 8 PM. You can buy your tickets at the door or you can purchase them online at

Author: Stasia O'Brien

Theatre/Film professional-Hudson's Mom-Dreamer

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