Monday, November 18, 2013


When Robert Frost penned the line of poetry "Fences make good neighbors," he might have been thinking of Hannah Mae Bindler, recently of Texas.  Like a stray cow, in the nicest possible way, mind you, Hannah Mae's friendship knows no boundaries.  You can't fence this lady in or stop her:  she is a steamroller on a mission.

What passes for downhome neighborliness in the Lone Star state doesn't translate so well to the trendy section of Westchester County, New York. Playwright John Ford Noonan doesn't hint why or how Hannah Mae has abandoned the south west, only that she has.  Coffee cup in hand, she appears one sunny morning at the home of her next door neighbor Maude Mix and like a thorn on a rose or a barnacle on the hull of a boat, she is there to stay.
Remember the steamroller.

Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin has filled the coffee pot and set it to brew weekends until Saturday, December 7 to present the no holds barred comedy "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking."  Bring the milk and sugar and a plate of fresh baked cookies to their coffee klatch.

Chelsea Neville's Hannah Mae is irresistible, the epitome of cheerfulness, the in-your-face reality that Maude Mix abhors.  Maude wants no part of Hannah Mae in her well-organized kitchen and doesn't mince words in saying it politely, firmly and repeatedly.

Tracey Brown's Maude is the pert, proper and polished socialite who has an ordered life and she brooks no interference.  Hannah Mae has obviously learned a few moves from her football playing husband, because she breeches Maude's defenses, insistently and aggressively, until she crosses the goal posts for a touchdown.

These two unlikely companions, who have little in common on the surface, discover a bond eventually.  Hannah Mae's hubby Carl Joe and Maude's Tyler are cut from the same cloth, one full of holes and bad stitching, both with wandering hands and eyes. Hold on to your spatula and cookie sheets as Hannah Mae strategically wages her invasions into Maude's uber-private life.  How they become best buddies is at the heart of this chicken coop of a comedy, happily produced and directed by Kris McMurray for maximum laughs.

For tickets ($30), call the Ct. Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at  Doors open at 7:15
 p.m.  and the shows are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Remember to pack goodies to share at your table or plan to buy the yummy desserts and drinks onsite.

Just like in a real hen house, chicks can scratch and bite before they settle down to nest and Hannah Mae and Maude are no different.

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