When Suds, the Rocking ’60s Musical Soap Opera, opens at the Capitol Theatre this Friday, Feb. 24, all eyes will be on the vintage costumes adorning the cast of five.
And that’s how it should be, according to costume designers Tina Ronning and Marina Connah.
Ronning and Connah had a vision of how the characters in Suds should be dressed and set out looking for some ready-made outfits from various costume rooms.
Not finding the glamorous look they had envisioned for Cindy and her angels, Ronning and Connah set out to sew outfits for Cindy (Lisa Fryer), Dee Dee (Yvette Deveau) and Marge (Janet Deakin) using vintage patterns from the era.
With countless number of trips to the fabric store and hours turning to days and the days turning to weeks, Ronning, Connah and Wendy Stander pinned, cut, sewed and pressed into the wee hours in what is now known affectionately as the “sweatshop” (someone’s home).
The elaborate attire which also includes Johnny Angel’s cummerbunds, bow ties and suit jackets required more than 70 metres of fabric. As well, 60 metres of crinoline were used to create all the petticoats and dress flounces.
The characters’ “look” is integral to the story, producer Liz Bernstein said.
“If you see a picture of Cindy in her little pink dress and little pink shoes, I think it was quite important. There are references made to Marge’s outfits through the musical,” Bernstein said.
“Cindy mentions Marge’s tawdry outfits and Marge mentions DeeDee’s bullet bra.”
“You happen to see their knickers and you happen to see their petticoats.”
The curtain rises for Suds at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The show runs over four weekends on Friday and Saturday nights, until March 17.
Tickets cost $20 at the Rollin Art Centre and at www.atthecapitol.org.