Greenville prefers #8216;Blondes#039;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A not-so-dizzy blonde, her best gal pal and a bevy of delightful supporting players took the stage to Charleston, tango and tap dance their way into the audience’s heart Monday night at the Ritz.

It was the finale of the Greenville Area Arts Council’s 2005-2006 season and &uot;Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,&uot; mounted by Windwood Productions, proved a true crowd-pleaser.

Based on the novel by Anita Loos, the show featured songs by Jule Styne and Leo Robin, ably performed by the large company.

Christina Wolfe was charming in the starring role of 20s flapper Lorelei Lee, the &uot;little girl from Little Rock&uot; with a somewhat rocky past, while Lindsey Clayton proved a good choice as Lorelei’s wise-cracking best friend, chorus girl Dorothy Shaw.

It was high jinks on the high seas as the duo met an intriguing cast of characters on their transatlantic trip to France, with romance and high finance both triumphing in the end.

Robert J. Biedermann delighted the audience as the perpetually hen-pecked Sir Francis Beekman, while Dawn Timm drew plenty of laughs as the Mrs. Spofford, a woman who learns how to truly &uot;live it up&uot; in Lorelei and Dorothy’s company.

Gary Leimkuhler and Yamil DeJesus also brought many chuckles as an amorous French father-and-son team in pursuit of Lorelei’s &uot;stolen&uot; tiara.

Kudos go to the eight-man orchestra who provided tuneful accompaniment to the performers on stage.

&uot;It was a delight,&uot; audience member Jean Bauer said after the show.

The fun continued at the after-show reception at the Whitney Bank, during which GAAC members got the chance to met and mingle with cast and crew.

A lovely arrangement of lilies created by floral designer Nancy Idland graced the center of a lavish buffet of hors-d’oeuvres enjoyed by all.

Attendees were also treated to a southern specialty courtesy of Jill Stallworth – shrimp and grits, with &uot;fixins’&uot; available to fancy them up.

&uot;They weren’t too sure to start with, but the cast members really loved the shrimp and grits. We’ve already emptied out one pan of grits,&uot; Stallworth, decked out in a chef’s hat and coat, said with a grin as she spooned her custom shrimp Creole sauce over another serving of steaming grits.

Beidermann, who had performed in Greenville last year with the cast of &uot;Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,&uot; said the Camellia City simply couldn’t be beat for good food and hospitality.

&uot;I told them, ‘the bank, the bank’…I remembered what a fabulous spread we were given here last year,&uot; the company manager said with a smile.

&uot;I really appreciate all the efforts of everyone to make this such a great experience here. The cast will be talking about this place for a long time to come.&uot;