Three writers from Asheville, North Carolina, came up with this 2008 mash-up of Steel Magnolias and Beaches, a comedy tinged with poignant moments among five women friends. Every August the former college swim team champs meet for a girls' weekend at a beach house on the Outer Banks. In four scenes, unfolding over weekends scattered across 33 years, the ladies share cocktails, gossip, hurricane preparedness and personal tragedy. The production at Pocket Sandwich Theater, in one of the venue's occasional detours away from popcorn-tossing melodramas, is acted broadly but well by the cast directed by Susan Sargeant. Actresses Lucia A. Welch, Sheila D. Rose, Melissa Couture, Robin Coulonge and Kristen Blevins James bring a pleasant lightness to their characters while keeping them solidly grounded in reality. The characters each fit a type: the pushy lawyer, the super organizer, the slutty man-magnet, the naive ex-nun and the chubby clown. But within those types are enough "real woman" attributes to make them real and relevant. Lots of fun. Call your girlfriends and make it an evening. The Pocket does serve wine, beer and snacks. Through June 26 at Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane (across from Mockingbird Station). 214-821-1860.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: May 21. Continues through June 26, 2010