Lind Lane Theatre

July 20th – August 4th 2012

Reviewed by Meredith McLean

Red Hat Society Facebook

I have myself a long road to travel before I hit the big Five-O. That and my closest brush with the Red Hat Society came around the time that Simpsons episode aired about Marge joining the RHS and stealing Mr. Burns’ secret valuables. So they seemed pretty adventurous and daring back then and even though I’m nowhere near the halfway mark to a letter from the Queen I still found moments where I couldn’t stop laughing during the musical, Hats!

Hats! sings and dances its way through the lives of six fifty-something women educating their newest recruit, Marianne, all about the adventures of the Red Hat Ladies. There are some tender moments as well as some upbeat numbers that are sure to break a smile out on your face. Marianne being reluctant at first to address herself as anything older than 49.9999 slowly learns to live life the way she wants to regardless of what her age is.

There are certain scenes where I found the sappiness a little hard to bear. Whether the fault lies in the original script or if the cast just didn’t bring in the suitable tenderness needed, it was a struggle to push through the quieter moments. Just a general swirl of words like “heartbreak” and “confusion”, “lost love” and blah blah blah. Dampen the mood even more with some soft lighting and gentle piano music and hey presto, your typical sob story unfolds. Perhaps I’m being unrelenting, or even unsympathetic to these characters but the genuine sadness I look for in a performance did not reach me in the back row this time.

Despite this weakness seen at the Lind Lane Theatre the performance makes up for it with more upbeat tactics. Two particular actresses kept me wonderfully entertained from start to finish. Jen Somerville and Julie Pickard who play Duchess and Contessa Confessa respectively. They kicked off in an interwoven duologue then kept their presence on stage until the very end. With their musical numbers and their choreography. My favourite especially was Somerville as Duchess reminding us 50 doesn’t mean it has to end in the bedroom. Encouraging words for women or not, the hilarious red lit number made me forget the sappier, lacking moments of before.

Lind Lane has once again presented us with a curious little production. I’ve known the organisation for a long time now and the fun ambience is still there.

Hats! Though a little feeble in its serious moments, brings some great laughs to the audience. While it’s certainly not a show for the kids, anyone who understands we all get older eventually will love this production of Hats! 

Hats The Musical


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