Savannah Sipping Society

Cast members Danna Fredrick, left, Lee Skinner, Pam Evans and Janice Hill will take the Butterfield stage Friday for the opening of “The Savannah Sipping Society.”

Butterfield Stage Players will present “The Savannah Sipping Society” as the latest in its 40th anniversary showcase of productions.

The Gainesville-based community theater organization is celebrating its 40th season this year. Playwrights Jones, Hope and Wooten have been a mainstay in past seasons, according to a press release from Butterfield. In this year’s comedy, four unique Southern women, all needing to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines, are drawn together by fate — and an impromptu happy hour — and decide it’s high time to reclaim the enthusiasm for life they’ve lost through the years.

Randa, played by Pam Evans, is a perfectionist and workaholic struggling to cope with a surprise career derailment that reveals that she has no life and no idea how to get one.

Dot, played by longtime Butterfield favorite Lee Skinner, is still reeling from her husband’s recent demise and the loss of their plans for an idyllic retirement. She faces the unsettling prospect of starting a new life from scratch, and all alone.

Earthy and boisterous Marlafaye, played by newcomer Janice Hill, is a good ol’ Texas gal who has blasted into Savannah after losing her tom-cattin’ husband to a 23-year-old dental hygienist.

Also new to town, Jinx is a spunky ball of fire, played by Danna Fredrick, who offers her services as a much-needed life coach for these women. 

Over the course of six months filled with laughter, misadventures and the occasional liquid refreshment, these middle-aged women successfully bond and find the confidence to jumpstart their new lives. 

Together, they discover lasting friendships and a renewed determination to live in the moment. Most importantly, they realize it’s never too late to make new old friends.

Wendy D. Newton of Ardmore, Oklahoma, is the newest Butterfield director and brings her own style, excitement and interpretation to the production, according to the release.

“The Savannah Sipping Society” opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26 and continues at the same time April 27, May 3 and 4, then wraps up with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 5.

Tickets are $15 for adults or $10 for children and are available at www.butterfieldstage.org or through the box office at 940-665-1284.

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