After transitioning to online programming for its audience amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Queens Theatre is bringing a “Golden Girls” puppet parody show to the borough as the venue’s first in-person show of 2022.
“That Golden Girls Show!” tour will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. According to Taryn Sacramone, executive director of Queens Theatre, they’re looking forward to reconnecting with everyone this year, beginning with the “Golden Girls” show.
“This is a show that interested us before the pandemic. It feels even more appropriate now because we are looking to bring the community together for a really joyful experience. We want people to have fun, to laugh and connect over their shared fandom of ‘The Golden Girls,’” Sacramone said.
“The Golden Girls” sitcom aired for seven seasons from 1985 to 1992 with an ensemble cast starring Bea Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak, Betty White as Rose Nylund, Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux and Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo, Dorothy’s 80-year-old widowed mother.
The brand-new show at Queens Theatre parodies classic “Golden Girls” moments with puppets portraying the four women — from Sophia’s get-rich-quick schemes to Rose’s tales from St. Olaf, Blanche’s insatiable hunt for men and the fountain of youth, and Dorothy’s daily struggle to make sense of her life.
According to Queens Theatre, the show is also a way to celebrate White, who appeared on the show for seven years in 177 episodes and died at the age of 99 in December 2021.
“While we are extremely saddened by Betty White’s passing, we are so thankful to have the opportunity to bring her fans together to celebrate Betty’s incredible career and one of her most iconic roles with this puppet parody show. What better way to honor Betty White than to laugh together?” Sacramone said.
The show’s cast includes Miranda Cooper as Sophia, Dylan Glick as Dorothy, Lu Zielinkski as Blanche and Samantha Lee Mason as Rose.
For Mason, who is a New York-based it’s an honor to portray White’s comedic character as Rose onstage.
“I love playing Rose because I like her sense of earnest optimism. She’s really sweet and she has love for her friends, how she grew up, and she has all of these crazy funny stories that I get to tell,” Mason said.
Although she didn’t know White personally, Mason says it felt very personal when White died while working on emulating her character as Rose.
“I felt like I knew her and that’s something universal; everyone knows Betty White. I really want to continue her legacy in a respectful way, and I want what I’m doing to be a love letter to her,” Mason said.
Mason says she hopes people will come to the show to not only share in laughter and joy but to also celebrate the incredible life of White.
“Our show is told in three episodes of ‘The Golden Girls.’ It’s almost as though the audience will be participating in what would have been a live taping of the show back in the ’80s,” Mason said. “We just hope we leave people laughing and smiling and having a great time in the theater because we all need an escape right now.”
Tickets start at $20 for seating in the rear and side sections. Seating in the center section is $35. Students and seniors receive a 10 percent discount. This production is not recommended for children and is suggested for ages 13 and up. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit queenstheatre.org.
In compliance with New York City’s vaccine mandate for indoor activities, Queens Theatre requires confirmation of vaccination against COVID-19 of all eligible (5 years of age and over) staff, performers, patrons and audience members, with a completed course of a vaccine considered effective by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and/or the World Health Organization. Learn more about Queens Theatre’s COVID safety protocols at queenstheatre.org/covid-protocol.