Make no mistake, daytime drama diva and five-time Emmy winner Heather Tom is the star of “Vanities.”
She shares billing with her sister Nicholle Tom (“The Nanny,” “Masters of Sex”) and fellow soapster Sonia Satra (“Guiding Light,” “One Life To Live”).
But when the off-Broadway hit comedy opens at Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse next Thursday, March 27 as part of the WinterStage series, it will also place the costumes in the spotlight. The show follows the friendship among three girlfriends through high school in 1963 to college in 1968 and, finally, an adulthood reunion in 1974, all of which is fertile fashion ground.
“In a show like ‘Vanities,’ we are really taking our audience back to those time periods,” says Tom, who stars in CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful.” “With the ‘60s and ‘70s, the fashion and hair … is so part of that era. In Scene 1, it’s really about our hair. The hair is gi-normous. My mom, this is totally her era, and she used to go to the beauty parlor once a week and wrap it in toilet paper every night so it wouldn’t fall. When you see it in the show, it’s not over-the-top. The hairstyles really were this big.”
The costumes were cobbled together from design and shopping vintage stores, director John J. Castonia says.
“I did a little sketching myself,” he explains from his offices in Los Angeles. “And then, I grabbed a couple of costume folks I know, and we went out looking for what I wanted. I was a real stickler for sticking to the periods in the show. What [the costumes] are based on is all the famous designer designers from each era.”
Tom, who has also starred in “One Life To Live” and “The Young and the Restless,” says Los Angeles is the perfect region for finding throwback fashion.
“We have a real vibrant vintage market out here,” she says. “There are tons of places. I’m definitely a more classic, ‘50s and sometimes ‘60s silhouette kind of girl. I’ve got boobs and hips, and that’s the look that is most flattering to me. I definitely have my Marilyn moments.”
Lobby doors will open early for Ladies Night on March 27 and LGBT night on March 28. Both evenings will feature drink specials. LGBT Night will also feature a VIP reception with the cast after the performance and a portion of the ticket sales from the March 28 performance will benefit The Trevor Project, a leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT and questioning youth. When purchasing tickets use promotional code TREVOR.
“Vanities” will run March 27-29 at Parker Playhouse, 707 N.E. Eighth St., in Fort Lauderdale. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday. Tickets cost from $28 to $66.50. Call 954-462-0222 or go to ParkerPlayhouse.com.