'5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche' very funny
Red Dirt Theatre Company has produced a very funny evening of satire with “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” by Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder.
Directed by noted filmmaker George Adams in Oklahoma City’s newest black box theatre, The Paramount Theatre, the critically acclaimed play deals with illusory terrors of nuclear attack in the midst of the iconic mythos of the 1950s.
The story serves up layers of American social symbols to expose our tendency to believe that we have the power and technology to survive—and therefore ignore—any danger. And it’s very funny to watch.
In the bomb-proof basement of a local church, the widows of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are meeting for their annual quiche baking contest and brunch. The officers, led by Wren, open the meeting of the membership, which includes the audience. (Audience members will be greeted with name tags of the members, allowing the “officers” to engage individuals in the audience from time to time.) Lily Blevins as Wren was an icon of the authoritarian housewife—her sweet, charming façade belied by her swift and sharpened pie server attitude. Blevins is spot on as the presiding “widow” of the SBASftSoGS; she delivers the charm of a hostess with the edge of a mother with many small children.
Building and construction of the bomb shelter took place under the eye and hand of Vern, played by Rebecca Cox. Vern is a 1950s Hollywood blond, with essence of Bacall and Hepburn wafting around her “mannish” style. Cox strode the stage with hints of masculinity that suggested control and aloof competence. Vern’s interaction with her friend Ginny, allowed Cox to reveal Vern’s possessive tendencies.
Ginny, played with an almost perfect British accent by Emma Rose Kraus, delivered the pixy-like cuteness of the junior mascot of the group. A follower who adores her sisters, Ginny is the adorable one. Kraus handled the role with a certain deftness, neither over- nor under-playing the waifish gamine.
Megan Rich was solid as Dale, the womanly woman who is a hero at heart. Rich played Dale as a stereotypical image of mid-century, white American femininity, and also as a comic-book superhero when the quiches needed to be saved.
Leading the ladies of the SBASftSoGS is Lulie, the matron who serves as the Great Mother image to her brood of “widows.” Lulie is portrayed by Taylor Reich with great authenticity and power; Reich gives Lulie both strength and authority and a deeply felt, motherly impulse. Lulie reads as a favorite aunt who has the power to make men very nervous.
Inevitably, the “widows” of the SBASftSoGS are forced to deal with disaster on several fronts, including the issue of repopulating the planet.
Adams has directed this show with a light touch. The double entendres are the more forceful because they are not emphasized. Developed in an improv setting, the script has elements of chintzy farce interwoven with pastel slapstick and bright floral satire. The technical elements are sufficient to support the story without every intruding into it.
“5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” plays at the Paramount Theatre on Lee Street just North of Sheridan in Oklahoma City. Curtain is at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4. There is a bar, and drinks are allowed in the theatre. Call (405) 637-9389 for reservations.
Note: this review was previously published on okartsceneandhurd.com. Used by permission.