Southern belles in spotlight at TCT Off Broadway

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com A Southern Belle Primer.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com Martha Anne (Erin Beall, left), her mother (Sherrie Black) and her daughter, Sister (Layla Taylor) discuss china patterns in “A Southern Belle Primer,” produced by TCT Off Broadway.

BY SHEENA BARNETT

Daily Journal

TUPELO – If you know what time of the year it’s appropriate to wear white shoes, chances are you’re a Southern belle.

Even if you don’t, if you grew up in the South and are a woman, or know a woman, you’ll find something you recognize in “A Southern Belle Primer: Or Why Princess Margaret Will Never Be a Kappa Kappa Gamma.”

TCT Off Broadway is presenting the comedy, which focuses on a Southern grandmother, mother and daughter and their devotion to tradition, Junior League and Kappa Kappa Gamma.

“It’s the marshmallow creme of the dramatic menu,” said director Lynn Nelson. “It’s one of those light, frothy things that leaves you laughing.”

All three of the belles in this family are representing – or breaking – the Southern tradition. Grandmother Davis Carlyle Sotheby (Sherrie Black) is giving a tour of her antebellum home; her daughter, Martha Anne (Erin Beall), is scandalized by who’s been admitted to the Junior League; and Davis’ granddaughter, Sister (Layla Taylor), is a freshman in college with zero interest in joining a sorority.

It has non-stop laughs, but a big dose of heart, too.

Black is having fun playing the family matriarch.

“She’s crazy – in a good way,” she said. “She’s Southern crazy. There’s a difference. She’s hilarious.”

Beall’s mother was a Kappa Kappa Gamma, so she’s drawing from her to play Martha Anne.

“It’s very, very true. It’s funny because it’s true,” she said of the comedy. “It’s about the strength of the steel magnolia.”

Taylor will start college this fall, so she can easily relate to Sister.

“I spend a lot of time laughing at myself,” she said.

Fellow Southerners will find a lot to laugh with and love in “A Southern Belle Primer.”

“You will recognize yourself in this if you’re from the South,” Black said. “You’ll say, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s me, that’s my mom, that’s my aunt, that’s my sister.’”

sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

Dim the lights

What: TCT Off Broadway presents “A Southern Belle Primer”

When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21-23

Where: TCT Off Broadway, 213 East Franklin St.

Cost: $20/adults, $10/students

Info: (662) 844-1935