Designing Women Gets Revival Courtesy of Linda Bloodworth-Thomason

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It’s not a full-fledged on-screen revival but the popular sitcom Designing Women is making a comeback of sorts later this year. The original series that starred Delta Burke, Jean Smart, Annie Potts, and the late actress Dixie Carter is returning in a unique form.

Designing Women Reimagined

A stage play of Designing Women by the show’s co-creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason will go up this summer in Arkansas. The play is adapting the series and it will also be called Designing Women. It’ll be going up at TheaterSquared in Fayetteville, Ark.

“Designing Women has a special magic,” said Bloodworth Thomason in a statement, “and a ubiquitous appeal. It would seem to be the perfect theatrical venue for sharing an evening of humor while sitting next to people you can’t stand.”

The series, which can currently be seen in its entirety on Hulu, tells the story of four women who work at Sugarbakers, an interior design company. Carter played Julia Sugarbaker, Burke played her former beauty queen sister Suzanne, Smart was Charlene Frazier, and Potts was Mary-Jo Shively.

The late Meshach Taylor played Anthony Bouvier, who worked as Sugarbaker’s delivery man. As the series progressed, Smart and Burke left the show. Other series regulars included Alice Ghostley as Bernice, Julia Duffy as Allison, Jan Hooks as Carlene, and Judith Ivey as Bonnie Jean/BJ.

The show addressed social issues including spousal abuse (in an episode that guest-starred Guiding Light star Kim Zimmer as Charlene’s cousin), AIDS (in an episode that starred Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn), and many other topics. Very little if anything was off the table as the four women openly discussed religion, sex, and politics — and much more.

The premise of the play will have the women contemplating selling the firm and going their unique ways after the country’s polarization has even effected their tight-knit quartet.

Designing Women, the play, is set to run from August 12 through September 13 in Fayetteville. Then, it will move to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Dallas Theater Center in October and November. For more info, check out theatre2.org.

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