The female buddy story is a virtual treasure trove of plot devices: heartwarming friendships, feminine empowerment, heartbreaking melodrama--you name it, it can be mined from the premise of ladies getting together to chat, bitch and bond. Shining examples from the genre include the film and stage versions of Steel Magnolias, a lovely depiction of the depth of friendship and loyalty between women, and The Color Purple. First Baptist of Ivy Gap, a play written by Ron Osborne, ranks among those rare female buddy tales where shrill pettiness takes a backseat to the resourceful, witty and warm group of women it portrays. The women of Ivy Gap first come together at the titular church during World War II, when they roll bandages for the Red Cross, and then reunite 25 years later to face shocking revelations, receive forgiveness and relish their enduring friendships. Irving Community Theatre brings these women to life in an emotional production at the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N MacArthur Blvd., 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through January 29 (with additional showtimes at 8 p.m. Thursday, January 27, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, January 16 and 23). Tickets are $15 to $20. Visit irvingtheatre.org.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 16, 2:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 23, 2:30 p.m.; Thu., Jan. 27, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 14. Continues through Jan. 29, 2011