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Bainbridge native starring in “Beauty Shop 2011”

HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM of Doris and Shelly Garrett, open the 60-city tour of “Beauty Shop 2011” in Albany this weekend.|Carol Heard

Doris Garrett, who grew up in Bainbridge as Annie Doris Williams, baby daughter of Willie C. and Lucy Mae Williams, is currently appearing in the lead role of the touring company’s production of “Beauty Shop 2011.”

The comedy stage play opens it’s new 60-city tour in Albany at the Municipal Auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m. and concludes the Albany run with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday the 16th before moving on to Mississippi.

Annie Doris Williams graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1980, where she was a member of the flag corps with the Bainbridge High School band and a contestant in beauty pageants.

Her sights were set on a modeling career when she enrolled at Albany State University. She majored in speech and theater, and as she appeared in several college productions discovered she loved theater.

Following her college graduation in 1984, she moved to Atlanta.

Her big break came when she was introduced by a mutual friend to the man who would become her husband. Shelly Garrett, a writer, director and producer, who was working with an original play, “I’m Doing the Right Thing with the Wrong Man,” at the Fox Theatre when the two met. He cast Doris as an extra in the play, and that was the start of good things for Doris in every way.

She now serves as executive producer of all of her husband’s stage productions and is appearing in her first leading role in “Beauty Shop 2011,” playing “Champagne Miller,” the owner of the “Diva’s Unleashed” beauty shop.

Shelly Garrett has been re-writing and fine tuning the script of Beauty Shop for more than 20 years now. The characters may change, but the concept remains the same. It relates the stories of the goings-on in beauty shops, and as every woman knows, there is always a lot of drama in a beauty shop, where news and gossip spread quickly. Secrets are shared and no one is spared. The result is often very funny, and this play works the comedic side, according to Garrett’s husband, Shelly Garrett, creator of the script. He also plays the role of the abusive boyfriend, Ricco Johnson.

Doris Garrett said it is wonderful to be able to work with her husband. Her favorite scene of this show comes in the second act when they are both alone on stage together.

She said there are not many artistic disputes between them.

“I voice my opinion and make suggestions. He listens to them, but the final decisions are his.”

Doris, the youngest of 12 children, said her parents worked hard to support and raise the large family. Her father was a custodian at First Methodist Church and worked at McDonald’s, while her mother worked at Elberta Crate. Both parents are now deceased, but one of Doris’ favorite memories is when her mother first saw her perform professionally.

“I was glad she had a chance to see what she and my father worked so hard for.”

Two of Doris’ sisters, Shirley Clark Graham and Cora Lee Mackey, continue to live in Bainbridge, along with many cousins and nephews.

Tickets are available at the Albany Civic Center Box Office and Ticketmaster Outlets. For information call (229) 317-7213 or 800-745-3000.