Center Stage: ‘5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche’ was hilarious fun
Insinuated hints as well as inhibited sexual expressions along with sugar coated sarcasm were the rules of the game at the annual quiche breakfast for the (widows) of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein. The year is 1956 (during the McCarthy era). The ladies of “5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche” attacked the play with sweetness and light as they stabbed away with cutting edge remarks, touched with just a smidge of sensuality; a perfect recipe for fun and games set in those years when America was in a state of gloom and doom. But fear not, these “widows” of the society were deadly serious about their quiche as expressed in their motto “no men, no meat, all manners.”
The “widows” gather every year to compete for the best quiche; but when the communist’s culture threatens these woman’s home country and lifestyles, how will they fight back? That question got answered in the next 75 minutes of the play’s running time. Bottom line, playwrights Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood struck an interesting well-crafted balance between period political drama and goofy giggles based on the exaggerated, totally unreal roles, women were expected to play in the ’50s. Director Stephanie Davis did a masterful – or is it mistressful? – job directing the comedy farce.
The five women in the cast are all well-known members of the Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts. The women’s timing is impeccable, and that alone is worthy of high praise. Anna Grilli was terrific as Ginny, the Manchester, England, born “sister” whose attempts at getting attention gets consistently thwarted by the sisterhood’s leader Julie – played to perfection and over the top by – Lucy Sundby. Dina Galyean was pert and perfect as Wren, a vision in a “shocking pink” costume. Karen Goldberg was a spot on ’50s stereotype female named, Vern. While Madison Mitchel, playing Dale, perfectly rounded out the circle of “funny girls.”
There was audience participation in this hilarious send up; you got ID’ed as you entered the theater, with a female name tag, to wear during performance. Some poor guy, in the second row, got the moniker Marjorie to wear, and came in for a lot of verbal abuse, during the play, from the actors on the stage.
If you were looking for something for an entertaining evening out at the theater – that was just a bit “different” – then “5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche” was the dish for you. Unfortunately, this past weekend was the final performances for this giddy send up. The Alliance for the Arts next show is set for Jan. 16-26, featuring “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall and directed by Rick Sebastian. For tickets and times, phone the box office at 239-939-2787. Remind ’em when you phone that Marsha sent you.