BWW Review: FIVE LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE
Titles are, as a rule, somewhat useless as labels go, so when I was invited to attend FIVE LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE, I suspected I might be in for a comedy, possibly a farce, and hopefully some sort of cult classic. I was delighted to discover that the play hits all those bases.
It's 1956 you see, and the annual quiche breakfast at "The Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein" is underway. This is a big event and dozens of widows enter their best quiche hoping for a win. The rules are simple: "No men, no meat, all manners". They could have added "No commies" but it is 1956 so that is a just a given.
The City Theatre presents this hilarious holiday show at picturebox productions through December 29th. I really like the space at picturebox, and the set is a perfect representation of a suburban, middle-American community center. The costumes are beautifully authentic and the direction is as tight as it gets.
This estrogen-soaked eggstraveganza begins innocuously enough with the widows meeting and greeting one another: "Hiiiiii, how aaaaaaaare youuuuuuuuuuuuu??!!!!!" is shrilled in various ways like a Greek chorus-on-crack, and the audience serve as additional "widows" as well. All except Marjorie - now there's a piece of work. If anyone can ruin anything it's definitely that b__ch, Marjorie. (Social media of 2019 would call her "Karen"). Marjorie has no boundaries, no manners whatsoever and she's lucky to be alive.
"Lulie" (Christina Little-Manley) is the President here, and she will be obeyed. Sweet Chairwoman, "Wren" (Kim Rubin) ensures everyone minds their manners (until she doesn't). "Ginny", (Sunshine Garrison) the Secretary, is... ooooh poor, sweet Gin, she tries so hard, all the way from England, will she never live it down? Will she ever fit in? (No matter, at least she isn't Marjorie) And the Historian, "Dale", (Shannon Embry), -now doesn't that one have a dark past? But again - She's not Marjorie. And then we have "Vern" (Dawn Erin), Chairwoman of Buildings and Grounds, didn't she do a fabulous job installing the fallout shelter door?
It's a veritable hen house without a rooster, always teetering on the edge of a huge cat fight. There is a pecking order here that changes as quickly as the overlapping delivery of the lines and that's what makes FIVE LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE work so very well. The actors never stop, not for a split second. If the energy were to sag, the production could be in trouble. At first the play seems to be one of those scripts that can "play itself" (meaning it's so well-written that the rankest of amateurs can use it as a life raft), it most definitely is not. Nope, this script requires professionals to pull it off, and this cast does not disappoint. The energy never dies, the story never drags. The direction is tight and the characters are always busy. It has a quick rhythm without being hurried, the artists never miss a beat and man, do they know how to deliver, take THAT, Marjorie. I highly recommend FIVE LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE.
The performance I attended had a full house, and deservedly so. This is a holiday show after all and it will sell out - fast. All holiday shows sell out. Ergo, get your tickets immediately. Playing through December 29th, tickets are available at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-627-9700.