|The cast of B Street Theatre's “5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche” |
includes, from left: top row, Elisabeth Nunziato and Stephanie Altholz,
bottom, Amy Resnick, Amy Kelly and Tara Sissom B Street Theatre/Courtesy photo
“5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche,” by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood, now at the B Street Theatre, may be one of the funniest 60-plus minutes I’ve ever spent in the theater. I did talk with two people who didn’t like it at all, but judging by the others around me, they were definitely in the minority.
It is 1956, when Americans lived with the threat of communism and a nuclear attack, and when same-sex attraction was still the “love that dare not speak its name.” Somewhere in middle America it is the long-awaited day of the annual Quiche Breakfast of the Susan B. Anthony Sisters of Gertrude Stein, whose motto is “No men. No meat. All manners.”
The group’s board of directors, all self-described “widows” costumed and coiffed like the most extreme Stepford Wives (costumes by Paulette Sand-Gilbert), are there to get the festivities started.
By the end of the evening, you may never look at quiche in the same way again.
The audience, all of us (male and female) also “widows,” becomes part of things when name tags are slapped on us as we enter the theater (I was “Nora,” my husband was “Eula”).
The play is rife with innuendo, double entendres, metaphor and repressed sexual tension. We learn that the egg is the most perfect food, the closest food to Jesus, that quiche is the staff of life and that meat should never, ever taint the ingredients of a quiche.
Director Buck Busfield has assembled five of the funniest ladies in the Sacramento area — Elisabeth Nunziato, Amy Kelly, Amy Resnick, Stephanie Altholz and Tara Sissom — and each is in top form in this hilarious comedy.
Resnick is Vern, the mannish woman, who wears boots with her dress, walks with a swagger, and sits with legs spread apart. She is the chairman of the buildings and grounds committee and has turned their meeting room into a secure bomb shelter, since the Red Menace is a real threat. She made a couple of mistakes, though, that will greatly affect the others.
The threat becomes reality midway through the play when a nuclear bomb is dropped and the women realize they are safe, but have to remain in their shelter for up to four years. That’s when things get out of control and they realize that they are safe to express their true feelings. In short order, everyone in the audience is admitting that he or she is secretly a lesbian and Nunziato drops the biggest bomb of the night.
The quiche-eating scene is easily the funniest of the evening, though Sissom ultimately makes the biggest splash.
The plot is absurdly ridiculous, but also surprisingly emotional and in the end it demonstrates how far we have come in the past 50-plus years.