BWW Review: A Great Girls Night Was Had By All at Jaeb Theatre At Straz Center For The Performing Arts
Last night was girl's night at Jaeb Theater.
A couple hundred ladies (and a few of their poor ill-prepared boyfriends and husbands) and I shared in the engagement party of Sharon's daughter Candy Rose. Though we never actually met Candy Rose, like a real ladies' night, there was booze, dancing, karaoke and a walk down memory lane.
Our navigator on this journey was the bride-to-be's mama, delightfully portrayed by Dina Desmone, who sadly passed 22 years before as a single teenage mother, but was there to invisibly support her BFF's who took her baby under their collective wings.
Girls Night: The Musical was about long-time friendships with four women with entirely different personalities and outlooks on life.
Kate (Danicah Waldo) was the button-down conservative one in a neat bun and large plastic glasses. Her sister Carol (Sarah McShane) was the antithesis to conservative. Flashing a red t-back and low rise jeans, Carol was a two-time divorcee who had no problem latching on to a third.
As Anita, Leslie McQueen stole the show as being the poster child of being teased in high school and suffering depression because of it. On Prozac and married to a man who adored her despite her quirkiness, she nonstop spat out lines faster than a machine gun.
Rounding out the foursome was Liza (Erin Baltsar) who married a rich man, but refused to let her guard down enough to love him.
Throughout the production, Sharon flashed back on memories of the past and then brought us back to the present with karaoke that reflected what we just saw. Throughout the production, we learned that each woman was carrying a secret.
Girls Night: The Musical featured all my favorite female empowerment anthems like "Lady Marmalade," "It's Raining Men," "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," and "Man I Feel Like A Woman," and brought the inebriated ladies nursing bottles of wine, sitting directly in front of us to their feet. Despite not being able to see all of the show's perfectly coordinated dance numbers because of my blocked view, whether in groups or individual performances, the voices of the cast were absolutely stellar.
"I Will Survive" was interactive with the audience, and as Carol, Sarah's heartfelt performance of "Don't Cry Out Loud" was met with well-deserved rousing applause.
The musical offered some of the funniest quips too.
"I wouldn't have gotten married if I knew it was him."
"I laughed so hard I think a little pee came out."
With Sharon watching on, the four talked about completely relatable topics to women - boys, bras, tampons, mental health, marriage, kids, divorce, and their shared love for their deceased best friend.
Throughout the night, we watched secrets get revealed, and conventional Kate unravel, dirty dancing with a stranger, overindulging in alcohol, and even making out with a male sex doll. The three other ladies soon discover that Sharon also had a secret that she thought she took to the grave. When Kate revealed the truth, it was completely unexpected.
Girls Night: The Musical was a fun, silly, boisterous, nostalgic, and even poignant look at how important it was to have your girlfriends to confide in, rely on and keep you sane when sometimes they were the only thing they did.