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For the Ultimate Girls Group, Even as Puppets: “That Golden Girls Show”

There are maybe a handful of shows that hold up to the test of time. Not because of the technology or other surface behaviors but because of the content, actors, writers, direction, etc. For me my two favorites are the Golden Girls and Law and Order (the original). I can watch either any time, any day, over and over again. I can have them on in the background just for noise or I can sit and watch intently like I have no idea what will happen next. The theme songs are the lullabies that help me drift off to sleep, the doink doink sound included.

The Golden Girls seem to just get more popular as the years go on. Perhaps it has something to do with Betty White being a main stay in pop culture as she turns a thousand years old or whatever number she is up to now. That just makes me miss the other girls that much more. While the show was only on for seven seasons those shows have provided countless moments of tears, tenderness, and laughter. Oh the laughter. They are officially the queens of squad goals.

“We were all so lonely, and then by a miracle we found each other.”

As I drift off to sleep some nights they remind me of my college years when friends and I would stay up talking endlessly for hours, then of course I would fall asleep to Golden Girls way back then too. Thank God for repeats.

“To me it was a miracle. Because we’re happy. It’s not fair, you know: I mean, we get married, we have kids, the kids leave, and our husbands die. Is that some kind of a test? You don’t work that hard—you don’t go through everything we go through—to be left alone.”

Other nights I find myself envious of living in a house filled with friends to hang out with, eat cheesecake with, and entertain each other. This occurs mostly when I am up for the millionth night in a row suffering from a migraine pain or migraine related symptom. It is then that having some one to wake and hang out with nearby seems ideal.

It will come as no surprise then that this huge Golden Girls fan is not writing about them for the first time here. My favorites include my blog about Eileen’s Cheesecake ( and one titled “A Few of My Favorite Things” ( I even drew inspiration from that show when it came time to name my Savannah blog “For Hard Hearted Hannah the Vamp of Savannah GA”.

As a mover and a shaker in this town I receive countless emails soliciting me to just about any restaurant or show within the Tri-State area. Most end up going directly into my trash pile. It takes something extraordinary to stand out. But then I saw an ad for a Golden Girls play with puppets!! I signed myself up immediately.

Toted as a show for all “Girls, Gays, and Grannies” I knew I would be in good company. “That Golden Girls Show” as it is named, has all of the things we loved about that series including Stan. The characters often recite lines, albeit in a different order, but that are taken directly from the show. I could have been in this play with no dress rehearsal whatsoever but I don’t think I am that good with puppets. For anyone who has seen “Avenue Q” you know what I mean. For those who haven’t get on that A.S.A.P.

“Dorothy, you’re the smart one, and Blanche, you’re the sexy one, and Sophia, you’re the old one, and I’m the nice one.”

Our girls were the same lovable creatures we remember and seeing them as puppets wasn’t really any different. I have to say that walking in and seeing the identical living and kitchen set made me giddy. They did such a good job! After that I knew it would be smooth sailing. Between me reciting the lines to myself and still laughing at the same jokes this show held my attention every minute. It was ninety minutes without an intermission, which is how all shows should run. While all of the actors/characters were great by far the best was the man behind the woman, Dorothy Zbornak. I saw an understudy that day but by God was he good. He had her down pat. It was like looking or listening in a mirror. The character of Dorothy Zbornak could be my doppelganger just by the way we speak and think. I am not a substitute teacher nor was I knocked up at sixteen just to be clear. But there are days I do feel like I should put my mother in a home.

Seriously the only thing missing was the cheesecake. They really should have passed some out or at least sold some. That’s a million dollar idea right there.

Broadway and theater itself plays such a huge role in my life that it’s no wonder it has a six-degree of separation link to the Golden Girls as well. Back in 2002 a production of “The Women” was playing and I got tickets to see it as a birthday present. There was an all-star cast including Cynthia Nixon who I would re-meet in 2012 when I saw her in “Wit” ( Needless to say she is an all-star actress.

But the real leading lady, for me anyway was Ms. Blanche Devereaux herself, Rue McClanahan. I got to see her coming out of the stage door and though I didn’t manage to score an autograph or photo that day just seeing her was good enough for me. Sadly she passed in 2010.

The only regret I have now is that I never got to meet Detective Lenny Briscoe a.k.a. Jerry Orbach in person before he passed in 2004. In tribute to him I plan to name my future French bulldog after him. If I get a second I suppose she will have to be named Dorothy Zbornak.

It is true what they say:

“If they ever threw a party they would see the biggest gift would be from me with a card attached saying thank you for being a friend.”

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