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Good 'Ol Girls

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Author Lee Smith called it "A Chorus Line for women." The New York Times called it "a feminist literary country music review."

Both were referring to Good Ol' Girls, a regional musical theater export from the 1990s, and a sprightly downhome update to the Southern archetype of the title. The South has changed dramatically in the last 40 years--and novelists Smith and Jill McCorkle, both North Carolina natives, have documented different generations as it has. Adaptor and director Paul Ferguson, returning here from Girls initial run, leavens the author's native wit and worries with original music from country songwriters Matraca Berg and Marshall Chapman. Returning with him are original cast members Amanda Blackburn, Katherine Rogers and musical co-director Julie Oliver.

The result is a multifaceted celebration of Southern women from all walks of life, from cradle to grave. Even in this time, good old girls show up in the most unlikely places. See for yourself, when the North Carolina Theater revival begins its 27-city tour of the Southeast this weekend. --Byron Woods

Stewart Theater, N.C. State University, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m., Saturday, 2 p.m.; $22--27, 515-1100.

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