BWW Review: Monumental Theatre Co.'s FIVE LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE is Anything but Monumental

BWW Review: Monumental Theatre Co.'s FIVE LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE is Anything but Monumental
The company of Monumental Theatre Co's production of Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche. Photo by RJ Pavel.

At one point in Monumental Theatre Co's current production of Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, one of the actors asks, "What would happen if a bomb were to go off?" If you are brave enough to attend this show, you will get your answer first hand.

Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood's sophomoric script takes place in 1956 at the annual quiche breakfast of The Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein in the Oak Tree Falls Community Center. Its president is Lulie Stanwyck (Allie O' Donnell) and this is the organization's big yearly event. Other organization members include Building and Grounds Chairwomen Veronica "Vern" Shultz (Malinda Markland), Historian Dale Prist (Morgan Meadows), Events Chairwoman Wren Robin (Gencel Batista), and Secretary Ginny Cadbury (Kaitlin Kemp).

I should mention, there is a cameo by Tracy Lynn Olivera as Lady Ulrika Monmont. Yes, she still in Ragtime at Ford's Theatre, but her portrait in safari gear is a central plot point.

Vern has constructed the meeting room's door to withstand tons of radiation. It can only be opened once during a radiological blast. This proves to be a not so good thing when a blast actually happens during the breakfast. When the five ladies realize that there isn't enough food to get them through a disaster, Dale volunteers to go outside their meeting room to gather all of the quiche. The door closes behind her and, well, you can guess what happens to Dale. There are also plenty of confessions and a quiche licking like you've never seen before.

Aside from the dreadful script, Director Jimmy Mavrikes thinks that hearing high and screechy lesbians for 75 minutes is a good idea. Actually, it just makes the show very grating. Each of these characters has a story, but aside from Malinda Markland as Vern Shultz, you don't care. This is because Markland is the only one delivering any kind of a multi-level performance. It's subdued and very welcomed amidst all the high pitch screeching from everyone else. That being said, I can see that the cast has plenty of talent and under better circumstances they all would have come off better than they do here.

The production elements are considerably better. Wes Reid's attractive set fills Lab One at the Atlas Performing Arts Center while Lighting Designer Rob Siler is able to create some snazzy lighting effects with only about a dozen lights and the room's track and florescent lighting. It proves that if you're a talented designer like Siler is, you can create great art with not very much equipment. Sound Designer Jordana Abrencia's bomb effects and music soundtrack add a bunch of nice touches as well. Kelsey Sasportas' costumes are period appropriate.

The lesson here is if you want some good quiche, or pie as the case may be, visit Dangerously Delicious next store to the Atlas. Its way more appetizing than what Monumental Theatre Co. is offering up.

Running Time: 75 minutes with no intermission.

Five Lebians Eating a Quiche runs through May 22, 2017 in Lab One at the Atlas Performing Arts Center which is located at 1333 H St NE, Washington, DC. For tickets, click here.

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