There is something about the bond between Southern women. It is unique, it is dramatic and it is eccentric.

One only has to look at Steel Magnolias, Fried Green Tomatoes, Crimes of the Heart and so many others to know what a rich world these relationships create.

Playwrights Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten mine this world with their delightful The Savannah Sipping Society, which kicks off Unity Theatre's new season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It continues Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. through Oct. 14.

In The Savannah Sipping Society, four Southern women, bored with their humdrum lives, meet and decide to rekindle their enthusiams of youth.

Workaholic Randa discovers she has no life outside the job, Dot faces starting a new life alone, Marlafaye -- it is a Southern story, y'all -- is a Texas lady who moves to Savannah after her husband takes up with a 23-year-old, and Jinx convinces the other three to follow her lead.

Meeting at happy hour, the four women bond over the course of six months and, in the process, learn to be strong and stand on their own two feet.

Randa is played by Celeste Roberts, a member of Actors Equity from Houston; Dot is played by Rebecca Bivens; Marlafaye is portrayed by Michelle Britton; and Jinx is played by Lisa Thomas. All four are veterans of the Unity stage.

Unity Theatre is located in Brenham at 300 Church Street, in a beautifully restored former warehouse. For Main Stage productions such as The Savannah Sipping Society, all seats are reserved. For a seating chart, go to unity brenham.org.

Tickets are $27, except on Thursday's preview night, when they are $19. Student tickets are $15. Any tickets remaining 15 minutes before curtain -- which is unlikely -- are $15. They are available at the box office, which is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 90 minutes before each performance. They also may be ordered online with Visa, MasterCard or Discover at tickets.unitybrencham.org, by phone at 979-830-8358 or by emailing tickets@UnityBrenham.org.

Unity Theatre is less than an hour from College-Station Bryan and is well worth the trip. My friends and I already have ordered our tickets, so we hope to see you there.

Keeping it Southern

Navasota Theatre Alliance keeps with the Southern theme when it open a three-week run of Southern Fried Murder by playwright Billy St. John on Friday night.

As the publicity for the comedy murder mystery says, There's something rotten in the cotton!"

Set in New Orleans, Southern Fried Murder is the story of Magnolia Capote, the matriarch of a family of misfits, including four granddaughters all named Magnolia, to dinner at an opulent hotel to discuss her will. Matriarch Magnolia turns up dead and, well, hilarity ensues. This comedy spoofs just about everything Southern.

Mark Taylor, who did such a wonderful job directing last year's A Tuna Christmas, helms Southern Fried Murder.

There will be 11 chances to see this delightful production through Oct. 24: Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., with a special performance at 7 p.m. on Oct. 11. There will be 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays, with an added matinee at 2 p.m. on Oct. 13.

Tickets range from $7 to $14 and are available online at www.navasotatheatre.org or by calling 979-825-3195. If any remain, they will be available at the door. We've got our tickets for this show, too.

It is less than 30 minutes to Navasota and the theatre at 104 W. Washington Ave. is easy to find. Seats are reserved, so go to www.navasotatheatre.org to make your selection.

Overtures

• Friday -- Deadline for entries to the Brazos Valley Youth Concerto Competition, sponsored by the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra and its support guild, the Friends Association of the Symphony Orchestra. Entries must be delivered in person or reach the BVSO office at 750 William D. Fitch Pkwy., Suite 430, by 5 p.m. (bvso.org)

• Oct., 4-20 -- Harvey, StageCenter, in its new home at 218 N. Bryan Ave. in Bryan, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., $10 to $15. (www.stagecenter.net)

• Oct. 5-14 -- Anything Goes, with music by Cole Porter, The Theatre Company behind JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts in Bryan's Tejas Center, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., $7 to $20. (theatrecompany.com)

• Oct. 13 -- Motets, Madrigals, & Masses, Brazos Valley Chorale, First Presbyterian Church, 1100 Carter Creek Pkwy. in Bryan, 7 p.m., $5 and $20. (bvchorale.org)

• Every Sunday -- Open mics and poetry slams sponsored by Mic Check Poetry, 8:30 p.m. Revolution Café in Downtown Bryan, (miccheckpoetry.com)

Items for Arts Watch should be emailed to robert.borden@theeagle.com. Deadline is noon Tuesday before the weekend you want it to run.

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