Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A Designing Women play by the original series creator is underway

Meshach Taylor, Dixie Carter, Jean Smart and Annie Potts from Designing Women in 1989
Meshach Taylor, Dixie Carter, Jean Smart and Annie Potts from Designing Women in 1989
Photo: Walter McBride (Corbis via Getty Images)

From 1986 to 1993, millions of TV viewers tuned in faithfully every week to watch Designing Women, featuring the exploits of the employees of Sugarbaker & Associates Interior Design in Georgia. They never seemed to work much, but they always had a ton to say about the issues of the day. The original cast featured Dixie Carter and Delta Burke as outspoken Sugarbaker sisters Julia and Suzanne, with Jean Smart as office manager Charlene, Annie Potts as single mom Mary Jo, and Meshach Taylor as their ex-con furniture designer Anthony. Show creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason became famous for crafting very special episodes about the AIDs crisis, or the scorn Suzanne received when she gained weight and went to her high school reunion, winning a number of awards in the process.

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Now The New York Times reports that Bloodworth-Thomason has decided to return to her most famous creation, this time as a stage play that will “bring the TV show’s characters into the present day.” Appropriate for the southern-based series, the play will premiere at TheaterSquared in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In a telephone interview, Bloodworth-Thomason explained, “What I really wanted to do was take those women as we last saw them and set them down right now… They’ll have the same history, be the same people, have the same attitudes, the same philosophies… but they’ll be talking about #MeToo and the Kardashians, and Donald Trump, and all that’s going on right now.” Fans of the old show can likely expect Mary Jo to be late, Suzanne to rattle off a hilarious putdown or twelve, and Julia to deliver a grand, quotable, soapbox-worthy rant, as only a Sugarbaker can (although Cecily Strong did a pretty great imitation on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago).

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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