By Lizzie Scully
Imagine two grown comediennes in their underwear, acting the part of hyper teenage girls reading through a Victoria’s Secret catalog during a sleep over. “I mean who actually takes their underwear off with their thumbs?!” One asks another, and then poses the question to the audience, “You? I think we should all go home and try it tonight.” The opening scene of “Girls Only: The Secret Comedy Life of Women” set the stage for an engaging and hilarious show that mixed and matched stories from their lives–supposedly taken from their early diaries– with astute feminist political commentary, improvisational interactions with the audience, television-taped skits and/or old commercials, and random other skits.
My friend and I, among an audience of 100 percent women, started out chuckling at some of the jokes, but by half-time we were practically bending over with laughter during each scene. While this show may not be for everyone–especially not the 50 percent of the population that has different anatomy–it works for women of any age.
Written and sometimes acted by Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein, this amalgamation of female-focused vignettes offers quite a few gems. In one scene, the women borrow purses from two audience members and proceed to empty them on stage one thing at a time, using and/or pocketing each item, and keeping a running commentary going the entire time on everything from the texture of the purse to the personalities of their owners as described through their possessions.
Another scene recorded all the great accomplishments of women in puppet form, with one woman narrating and the other holding up cut-out puppets behind a screen. Charming, informative and silly, I enjoyed the message conveyed that, yes, women have accomplished a lot, and no, they have not been recognized as they should have, but overall, instead of getting angry about that, we should all just remember those accomplishments. And what better way to remember than by associating something so traditionally “angry feminist” with something so much fun like a women-empowering comedy?
My absolute favorite scene (and I can’t tell you all because I’d ruin it) was the creative ways for menopausal women to deal with their old tampons and pads. Suffice it to say that I’d never thought of Halloween costumes of Colonel Sanders or ear muffs made out of pads cut in half, or, better yet, angel tampons for the Christmas tree.
I loved this show. I think anyone who didn’t find at least some of the scenes funny must either be suffering from PMS herself or must just be a sourpuss. I liked it so much that I’m bringing 20 of my friends back in January. For more information, please visit