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Sierra Rep stages ’Ripcord’
Jan Leigh Herndon and Susan Denaker in “Ripcord" (Photo by Rich Miller Photography).

Sierra Repertory is bringing the antics of two wily seniors to the stage with their production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s play “Ripcord.”

“Ripcord” is about Abby Binder, a resident at an assisted-living facility for the elderly. Although she doesn't pay enough for a private room, she's become accustomed to having one anyway. With a sharp tongue and a near sociopathic disregard for the feelings of others, Abby is not the easiest women to live with; most of her former roomies have fled in terror. Her latest, Marilyn Dunne, won't be so easily cowed. She tries to charm Abby by chatting incessantly and arranging for her favorite food to be prepared in the cafeteria. Abby's not having it. "I don't like you," she tells Marilyn. "It's that simple." The habitually cheery Marilyn agrees to request a room change if Abby can succeed in making her angry. If Marilyn is able to scare Abby first, however, she wins the coveted bed by the window. The two elderly women prosecute this wager with the zeal of teenage boys.

“You'll laugh and cringe as they blast past all appropriate boundaries for women their age living in a polite society,” said SRT’s Marketing Director Jerry Lee.

SRT co-founder Dennis Jones is directing the show and the cast is led by seasoned actors Jan Leigh Herndon as the dour and opinionated Abby Binder and Susan Denaker as the oh-so-cheery Marilyn Dunne. Also featured is Brett Mutter as Scotty, their patient but harried "referee.”

“Ripcord” opens Aug. 23 and runs through Sept. 15, at The Historic Fallon House Theatre in Columbia State Park at 11175 Washington St., Columbia. For tickets, call the box office at 532-3120, or purchase them online at, or visit the East Sonora Theatre Box Office (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday), located at 13891 Mono Way in Sonora. The Fallon House Theatre Box Office is open two hours before each performance. “Ripcord” is Rated G.