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BWW Interview: Linda Klein and Barbara Gehring Talk THE SECRET COMEDY OF WOMEN: GIRLS ONLY

THE SECRET COMEDY OF WOMEN: GIRLS ONLY is opening today and running April 25-29 at Booth Playhouse, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Written and performed by Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein, GIRLS ONLY, is an original comedy that celebrates the honor, truth, humor and silliness of being female. The two-woman cast, Barbara and Linda, took a moment out of their tour to sit down and have a girl chat with me.

LAW: How did you two meet?

BG: Linda and I met 20 years ago in an improvisation troupe in Denver, Colorado.

LAW: What inspired this show?

BG: Linda and I were part of a writing trio. Our partner, Matthew Taylor, went away for an extended vacation and Linda found her childhood diary in the house and started reading it to me. We started laughing and thinking this could be a show.

LAW: When did you know you were on to something?

LK: We only invited women to the show and there was a special energy, something special, like a girlhood reunion.

LAW: Did men come to see it?

BG: Men attended and understood it. They would come with their sisters. Mostly though, large groups of women attended.

LK: This we describe as a song, dance, sketch. It's interactive; it's not just a short play.

BG: people ask, it's not a play?... [it's] kind of like Carol Burnett TV onstage, from 5th grade to menopause... Done in a lighthearted honest way. By the end of the show, we are best friends with the audience. It's as if we are all in a reunion together.

LK: We started writing in 2004, but then Barbara had to stop to have children. So we stopped and waited to revisit it. We put it on at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Woman would see it and then come back with their church group, or their sister. The audience kept getting bigger.

LAW: What do you discover with each performance?

BG: Ah, hah... This isn't a show about us. It's a story resonating in every woman.

LK: Our background is spontaneity, in the creation of the show as well.

LAW: What's been your best experience on the road?

LK: We'll meet after the show in the lobby and women will hug us and tell us their stories because they feel they know us.

BG: After the show, a woman was crying and I held her for a while. She said, I forgot that was me. It's touching to see it brought back her childhood.

LAW: What's been your worst experience on the road?

BG: Well, once the stage was dark for 15 minutes. It was vindicating that we can do it in the dark (both laugh).

LK: It was weird, but the audience probably thought is was part of the show.

LAW: Which city sticks out as the most receptive to the show?

LK: Take Denver off the table, the best is my hometown.

BG: We performed in Winnipeg, Canada. And people who are mentioned from the diary were there. People knew the people we were talking about. That was special.

LAW: What will audiences take away from the show?

BG: 'Lighthearted but deep with childhood memories and innocence.

LAW: What are your hopes for the future?

LK: To become an immediate household name. Maybe bring this to Broadway and TV for national notoriety.

LAW: Do you want to add anything?

BG: the content is highly universal, but it's personal and timeless. Women love this show!

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From This Author Linda Ann Watt