On Saturday, I saw 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood. It was produced by Monumental Theatre Co. and directed by Jimmy Mavrikes.
This show is a “meeting” of the The Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein’s 1956 Annual Quiche Breakfast. The audience are all fellow “widows” who are attending the meeting. It was so cute; we are given nametags when we sat down. I was Dory for the night and I was lucky enough to be sitting next to Marjorie for the night (more on her later).
The space that we were in was a blackbox theater, so it was basically a black room with no distinguishing features. The set in front of us, designed by Wes Raid, could have been the cute interior of a community building. It had yellow walls with a few sparse decorative elements, a chair, a table, and a bomb shelter door. (This is 1956…they need to be prepared for the Soviets).
The lighting, designed by Rob Siler, was problematic in my opinion because it didn’t really seem to connect in any way to the set. There were lights and sometimes they were blue and sometimes they were red, but there wasn’t a lot to be said for them. Also, they were in my eyes the whole time. That’s at least 56% of my problem with them.
The sound, designed by Jordana Abrenica, was perfect however. It was dramatic and large and filled the space, especially when the nuclear bomb went off. Oh, yeah, a nuclear bomb goes off. (Soviets, am I right???) But the “widows” *cough* *lesbians* *cough* are all ok because they’re in this bomb shelter.
Ok, well they’re not all actually safe because Dale Prist, played by Morgan Meadows, blows up due to the radiation when she gets trapped outside the door. The props designer, Liz Long, has a scary mind because when Dale blew up, a huge slop of brains and body parts rocketed at the window. The entire audience gasped punctuated by scattered giggles to break the tension. It was awesome!
This play is so wacky and fun and these marvelous actors really made it so. The basic premise is that they’re all lesbians, but no one acknowledges it until the bomb hits and they’re all trapped, so they don’t have any reason to keep it secret any more. But it’s called 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, so obviously the audience knows the whole time. And this play is rife with lesbian jokes including Ginny Cadbury, played by Kaitlin Kemp, literally eating out a quiche. The actors had so much fun with all of this. When I saw it, it was almost their last performance so they were in such a groove of improvising, of waiting until just the right moment to get maximum participation or laughter from the audience.
Throughout the whole play, they make reference to Marjorie (the man sitting next to me with that nametag) because she ruined the quiche breakfast last year by bringing a quiche with meat in it. At one point, they were cautioning against something other, saying to us not to end up like Marjorie, and they just stared at her for probably 3 minutes straight. The whole audience was cracking up the whole time!
I have only one criticism of the actors. Two of them had accents, one British and one Southern…and neither of them were very good or consistent. But at the end of the day, it didn’t matter at all because all five actors were so invested in this play.
A stand out performance was from Morgan Meadows as Dale Prist. She was absolutely captivating – prim and refined when she needed to be, rough and determined when she was proving a point. It was such a joy to watch her interact with her fellow cast-members. I just loved it!
If these reviews were based purely on acting, this would be a 9/10, but because of some of the technical elements, I’m giving the show a 8/10. Unfortunately, this show has already finished its run, but if you have the opportunity elsewhere, go see this show!