’5 Lesbians Eating Quiche’ to combine 50′s class with RTP-style comedy
A show about Lesbians and French cuisine paired with a walloping dose of communism, need I say more?
The play, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, follows The Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein, a group of self-described widows, as they meet for their annual presentation and quiche breakfast. The show will be put on by the Richmond Triangle Players (RTP) at their theater starting February 19th and running through March 14th, and promises to be unlike any play experience you’ve likely had.
A comedy through and through, the show plays with the conventions theatre goers have come to expect. One such twist is that the audience will also be considered members of the society and given name tags to prove it.
“Literally the play is set up as if you were meeting in a community hall circa 1956,” said managing director of the RTP, Phil Crosby. “Everyone who comes will receive a name tag and it will be a woman’s name that was popular in the 1950s. You could be a Eunice.”
The play is written to be interactive and audience members can expect the cast to come out into the crowd and engage them.
“No audience member will be expected to get up and do anything silly, of course” promised Crosby. “But they can expect a raucous good time.”
The cast is comprised of five comedic actresses who are mainstays of the Triangle Theatre: Amy Berlin as Society president Lulie Stanwyck, Jennifer Frank as events chairwoman Wren Robin, RTCC Award Winner Maggie Bavolack as historian Dale Prist, Danielle Williams as buildings and grounds chairman Veronica “Vern” Schultz, and Liz Earnest as secretary Ginny Cadbury.
“It’s a play for everybody, it really is one of the funniest pieces I have read in ages,” said Crosby. “I think people will be amazed.”
Comedy is much harder to put together than drama, according to the play’s director, Dexter Ramey. Ramey usually directs one play a season for the RTP and has worked in both comedy and drama despite their many differences in style. “What’s the old saying? Dying is easy but comedy is hard,” said Ramey.
However, thanks to the talented individuals associated with the show, Ramey has no doubt it’ll be a success. “It’s sometimes hard to draw comedy out of people,” said Ramey. “But I’ve got a great cast so it’s been really easy.”
Another facet of the play that makes it unique is the time period. The show is set during the 1950s, a time well known for being drama ripe due to the Red Scare and the always looming threat of nuclear war.
It’s also known for being a bastion of conservative ideals and manners, which shows like Leave it to Beaver and Happy Days pay homage to. Pair that time period with women who are supposed to be of well-bred homes (but don’t necessarily act as such) and comedy is primed for the making.
“I like the time period the play is set in,” said Ramey. “These women, they’re supposed to be so refined but yet they’re speaking in double-entendres. Unless you’re really unaware of what’s being said it’s pretty funny to see these refined women saying these certain lines.”
Crosby also thinks the biggest draw of the play is the juxtaposition of comedy and the time period. “It’s 1956, with communism and the atomic bomb and it’s a quiche breakfast, I mean how much more ridiculous can it get?” he said.
RTP’s production of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche will open Thursday February 19 at the RTP’s theatre at 1300 Altamont Avenue, and run Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8 pm through March 14, with Sunday matinees March 1 and 7 at 4 pm. There will be a low-priced preview on Wednesday February 18 at 8 pm.
Top image by John MacLellan: The Susan B. Anthony Chapter of the Sisters of Gertrude Stein (from L to R, Jennifer Frank, Danielle Williams, Amy Berlin, Liz Earnest and Maggie Bavolack) celebrate the winning entry at their annual quiche breakfast in “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche,”
Tyler Hammel is a college student who has an unhealthy obsession with comic books. He’s a proud cinephile, owning a sizable film collection that lets you know he doesn't have any friends. An aspiring filmmaker, Tyler currently works with the VCU student organization The Horn RVA, a group of like-minded video journalists with a passion for Richmond based music. When not crafting his own bio Tyler can be found misusing commas,
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