’5 Lesbians eating Quiche’ has the audience so busy laughing, its profundity sneaks up on you
I am a lesbian! I am a lesbian!
I guarantee that by the time you leave the Richmond Triangle Players production of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, you will be too.
RTP is hosting THE event of the season –the 1956 Annual Quiche Breakfast of the Susan B Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein.
5 Lesbians, written by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood and directed by Dexter Ramey, is interactive from beginning to end. The “widows” and “sisters” (wink, wink) welcome the audience (new sisterhood recruits) at the doors of the theater. Each recruit gets a new name: Mine was Candace. My friend Michael’s was Phyllis (no men allowed). And the officers of the Society mingle with the crowd before the breakfast-aka show- starts, squealing in delight that you’re there, taking your picture, and asking about your entry into the quiche contest.
The stellar cast includes Amy Berlin as Lulie Sanwyck, President of the Society; Jennifer Frank as Wren Robin, the Events Chairwoman; Maggie Bavolack as Dale Prist, Historian; Danielle Williams as Vern Schultz, Buildings and Grounds Chairman.
And my favorite, Liz Earnest as Ginny Cadbury, Secretary. And outsider. She’s British, and a bit naïve. Ginny loses her decorum and gives in to her temptation to taste the winning quiche (meatless of course). Climbing onto the table and straddling the pie while she dives in mouth first . . . more than an audience member or two surely thought “I’ll have what she’s having.”
There are laughs and guffaws galore. Gossip and drama to spare. And enough double entendres – “there’ll be no sausage in my quiche” – to make you blush. The show is silly and hilarious.
The Society’s Motto, “No men, no meat, all manners” is on display throughout. The audience may be fooled into thinking that the show is mostly light/fluffy eggolicious fare. But when catastrophe strikes and the 5 women realize that “this might be it” they shed their “widow” and “sister” masks and proudly claim their true identity.
All hilarity aside, 5 Lesbians does have a meaty message. A reminder to those of us who are out and proud, that there was a time, not so very long ago, that these “sisterhoods” had to exist in secret. The audience is so busy laughing, that the profundity sneaks up on you.
But I remain grateful for the brave men and women who have paved the way for the LGBTQ rights we have today. For those who kept their identities hidden. And to those who risked everything- even death – to speak their truth.
Julie Harthill Clayton is an out and proud bisexual with a passion for reading, writing . . . and NOT arithmetic. Her work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Internet Review of Books, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary and more. She is working on her first novel - Two Tickets to Freedom - a semi-autobiographical queer coming-of-age tale. A paralegal by day, Julie spends her free time knitting, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Richmond with her partner, local artist David Turner, and their mischievous and loving hunting dog, Max.
“It’s a good time, but there’s also moments of being very sincere and very dramatic”February 21, 2017
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