When the Springer Opera House closed for a year or so while undergoing its huge renovation in the late 1990s, artistic director called the Springer "the vagabond theater." It went from Columbus State University's Fine Arts Hall (now called University Hall), the Liberty Theatre and the Bradley Theater.
A few years ago, Lou Smith snagged that name, the Vagabond Players, for his own small company. The last show Vagabond did was in St. George Anglican Church on Broadway.
The show was the very successful "The Dixie Swim Club." I can't tell you when it was, but I'm pretty sure it was in August. It sold out almost every night.
The five women in the show, Carlyn Smith, Sandy Dawson, Bonnie Hagerty, Susan Dolan and Jean Morris, were acquainted with each other, with some of them having been in shows together.
Since then, they've become very close.
In fact, Lou told me tonight that people believed that the women were best friends since college during the play. The play is about five women who became friends while on their college swim team. They meet for a long weekend every years to catch up on each others' lives.
In the five months since the show ended, tragedy struck. Bonnie's husband, Roger, died suddenly in November. The other four women gathered around her and have taken care of her. Lou decided to bring the show back, in part to get Bonnie out of her house and to help her by giving her something to do.
Bonnie's a doll and I can't imagine how she's feeling, but I know that she's a strong woman and she's taking comfort that her friends are all trying to help her.
Since rehearsals started, Lou said the five women will make you truly believe that they are best friends. "You don't just believe it, you know it," he said.
The play will be in the Scottish Rite Little Theater, 1027 Second Ave. Times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4-5 and Feb. 11-12 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 6 and Feb. 13.
Tickets are $15.
Call 706-322-3091 or 706-610-2896.