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  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette From left: Eileen Claypool, Janet Howard, Mary Alberding, Jennifer Rothenbush, Gloria Minnich and Becky Niccum star in Arena Dinner Theatre's production of “Calendar Girls.”

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette From left: Eileen Claypool, Gloria Minnich, Janet Howard, Sean Arata, Gary Lanier, Becky Niccum, Mary Alberding and Jennifer Rothenbush in Arena Dinner Theatre's production of "Calendar Girls."  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Becky Niccum, center left, and Gloria Minnich, center right, star in "Calendar Girls" at Arena Dinner Theatre.    

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Gloria Minnich, left, and Sean Arata star in "Calendar Girls" at Arena Dinner Theatre.  

Friday, April 27, 2018 1:00 am

Calendar Girls Arena Dinner Theatre

If you go

What: “Calendar Girls”

When: 7 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. show today, Saturday and May 4, 5, 11 and 12

Where: Arena Dinner Theatre, 719 Rockhill St.

Admission: $40; 424-5622 or www.arenadinnertheatre.org

Arena Dinner Theatre opens “Calendar Girls” this weekend.

The story, which is based on real events, follows members of a women's group that creates a topless calendar to raise money for a hospital. The stage version is a simplified version of the 2003 Helen Mirren movie people might be familiar with.

Director Brian Wagner says he likes the stage script better than the movie, and that the show is a funny and moving night for audiences.

“I just think they're going to have a great time,” he says. “The show has everything in it an audience could really want to be entertained by.”

Wagner, who is also executive director at Arena, says nudity for the show is handled in a PG-13 burlesque fashion similar to the calendar shoot in the movie.

Characters in the show learn to not let anything hold them back.

“I think it's that sort of universal idea of living your life to the fullest,” Wagner says.

– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette