Honky Tonk Laundry – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

You’ve heard of the Grand Ole Opry, but have your ever encountered the Grand Ole Laundry? Country western music is intricately involved in each and you’re invited to sashay over with or without fringed shirts and cowboy boots, to make the acquaintance of the latter until Sunday, October 20 at Waterbury’s Seven Angels Theatre when “Honky Tonk Laundry” comes swinging into town.

Written by Roger Bean, with musical arrangements by Jon Newton, “Honky Tonk Laundry” will drop you plunk into the middle of the Wishy Washy Washateria in Tennessee for a quick wash, dry, fold and iron of your unmentionables. The establishment owned and operated by Lana Mae Hopkins, a resilient Carlyn Connolly, knows what to do with the “dirty” aspects of life, like her no-account husband Earl who has made cheating on her an art form.

Joining her is a soul mate companion who wanders in to the Laundromat one day seeking solace and soul cleansing, an optimistic Katie Lane Murphy, courtesy of Laura Hodos, who doesn’t object to a little help from pills and alcohol to maintain her equilibrium. The two gals commiserate over problems of the heart and take to singing like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton to help themselves survive the long days and longer nights.

Be prepared for a feast for the eyes and ears when the pair transform their workplace into a showcase for girls like Patsy Cline and Wynonna Judd who put country western music on the map. Tunes like “Stand By Your Man,” even if he is a cheating son of a gun, “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’,” of Nancy Sinatra fame, as well as twenty others, will set your toes atappin.’ Close your eyes and you’ll think you’re in Nashville, as these two talented and energetic gals belt out their heartache and hope, without ever losing their sense of righteous indignation and humor, thanks to the direction of Russell Garrett and musical direction of Brent Crawford Mauldin.

For tickets ($42-49.50, 30 and under $25), call Seven Angels Theatre, 1 Plank Road, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at www.SevenAngelsTheatre.org. Performances are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., with added 2 p.m. matinees October 10 and 19.

Feel the need for a good soul cleansing? Lana Mae and Katie Lane have all the fixings in spot remover, soap and suds to wash out all your problems. Just best not ask Katie Lane to iron out any wrinkles.