For six years after the end of World War II 60 women dressed in green suits criss-crossed the country in a fleet of matching white Chevrolets selling Hormel products Spam and Dinty Moore to housewives, grocery store owners and supermarket managers. There women came to be known as the Hormel Girls. These girls weren’t just salesman, they were also entertainers. In addition to their sales duties, they also sung, danced and entertained on the national weekend radio show “Music with the Hormel Girls”.
Hormel Girls by local playwright Laurie Flanigan Hegge was originally staged at the History Theatre in Saint Paul back in 2007. Currently, Lyrics Arts in Anoka is producing the show on their stage and the show is spectacular. Scott Ford did an excellent job directing the show. His choices with blocking scenes coupled with Grace Aiello’s choreography shine in this show.
Kate Beahen’s Meredith is is the ultimate Hormel Girl. Though a little uptight and stuck to her rigid former military ways, she takes the reigns as the “mother” to the troupe of girls criss-crossing the country. There is even a secret or two we learn about her along the way.
Matt McNabb and Tom Goerger steal the show. These two play a variety of roles throughout the show. Everything from Stewie (the bus driver) to a sheriff, to an eccentric choreographer, to rival salesmen. These two commanded the laughs whenever they were on stage.
Hormel Girls reminded me a lot of the movie “A League of Their Own” starring Tom Hanks. Both show women taking the initiative and stepping to the front lines and helping when needed. Taking on roles up to that point had been male dominated fields. Whether a baseball player or a salesman.
Hormel Girls continues performances through October 27 at the Lyric Arts Main Street Stage in Anoka. For more information are to purchase tickets visit the theatre’s website.