The Annual Quiche Breakfast of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein is back in the Fischer Black Box at Las Vegas Little Theatre by popular demand for a limited encore presentation. After winning the Best of the Las Vegas Fringe Festival last month, the hilarious Poor Richard’s Players’ production of “Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche,” written by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood (men, it must be duly noted), it’s easy to see why.
Skillfully directed by Maxim Lardent, from the moment you hand over your ticket, you’re transported back to 1956 and partaking in the annual quiche competition. I say partaking because, throughout the seventy-minute play, the fourth wall never exists; you are now a “widow,” a “Sister” of the Society, and have brought your own quiche to the competition.
Yes men, like it or not, you are there as well. You’ve even got a name tag to prove it.
I urge you to play along, as the officers of the Society, played by Kimberly Scott Faubel (Vern), Brenna Folger (Dayle), Teresa Fullerton (Lulie), Jessica Hird (Wren) and Amanda Kraft (Ginny), welcome you with a rendition of the club song and begin the tasting.
It’s the 1950s remember, and we’re at the height of nuclear threat, preparing to hide under desks.
Then there’s a bombing of this unnamed middle-American city. But, fear not, the community center where it all takes place is quite safe. The tough-as-nails Vern designed the building as a fully equipped bomb shelter with supplies to last four years. When the women realize the chickens which were to supply the food (eggs for quiche, meatless of course) had not been brought in, Ginny takes a nosedive into the single remaining dish that will have you laughing so hard your stomach might ache.
Faced with being the last of the human race, confessions are in order. We get a very kitschy back-story, with accompanying “dramatic monologue lighting” as Dayle explains why she hasn’t even spoken to a man since she was a precocious 3-year-old. When Lulie confesses she’s pregnant, with a boy no less, the hysterics are perfectly over the top.
Each actress fully embraces and embodies her character so completely that it’s impossible to single out any one of the performances. This ensemble of women never misses a beat or an opportunity to escalate the fun with a look, a pose or the subtle raising of an eyebrow. When they break out into their club song, the voices blend like angels. And food on stage never has been funnier.
This witty, smartly written script gets its message across without being the slightest bit preachy.
Yet, it would come across as mere schtick without a fearlessly animated cast willing to take the necessary risks, and direction deft enough to rein it all in to the proper amount of spice for a winning recipe.
You might think you don’t like quiche but, trust me. With the attention to detail from costumes and make-up to sound and props, the production values are so excellent, you’ll want to gobble this one up before it disappears.