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'O'Conner Girls' starts April 5 at Phipps

"The O'Conner Girls," a heartwarming and amusing play by Katie Forgette, will be performed April 5 - 21 at The Phipps Center for the Arts.

The O'Conner girls, Liz and Martha, fiftyish, paternal twin sisters, help their mother, Sarah, excavate their recently deceased father's personal effects over the Christmas holiday in a small town in Northern Minnesota, 1997. Martha devoted her life to the care of her ailing father at the expense of her own happiness. Liz, a successful real estate agent, had been sending money home to help with her parents' expenses. They also have a brother, who is never seen.

Clues to the reserved patriarch's life are discovered, prompting the usual heated arguments and some unusual revelations. As the story of their parents' marriage unfolds, the girls are forced to reconsider their long-held opinions of their parents, with humorous interventions from Aunt Margie, their late father's sister and the amiable family busybody.

In the midst of this emotional afternoon, a long-lost neighbor, Dr. David Stevens, pays an unexpected visit. The younger doctor, whom the sisters once babysat, shows a romantic interest in one of them.

Also on the agenda for this day of upheaval is Catholicism, World War II, old movies, old love, new love, oversleeping, overdrinking, large purple hats, and weenie hot dishes.

"The O'Conner Girls" premiered at the Seattle Rep in 2004 and was part of the 2006 season at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul. It has quickly joined the ranks of Golden Age plays, such as "The Dixie Swim Club," "Steel Magnolias," "The Hallelujah Girls," "Over The River and Through the Woods," and "Morning's at Seven."

Performances will be given April 5-21 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for students of all ages, with a $2 discount for the opening weekend, and a $2 discount for seniors on the Sunday matinees. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at (715) 386-8409 or online at The Phipps.