Cheryl Reynolds and Nancy Durgin star in Falmouth Footlights summer opener "GIRLS ONLY--THE SECRET COMEDY OF WOMEN."

Cheryl Reynolds and Nancy Durgin star in Falmouth Footlights summer opener “GIRLS ONLY–THE SECRET COMEDY OF WOMEN.”

June, 2015

“Now THAT’S a girl’s night out!”

Indeed. Just one of many similar sentiments overheard by audience members who had just experienced one of the best and funniest comedies about all-things-female that kicked off its five-week Maine premiere to mark the official opening of Falmouth Footlights’ summer season.

Girls Only—The Secret Comedy Of Women by Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein, is a most delightful and raucous party that celebrates the honor, truth, humor and silliness of being female and unapologetically embraces all those curious-to-confusing moments of girlhood as well as the awkward and emotional elements of womanhood.

No subject is safe in this no-holds-barred explosion of multi-media fun and frivolity…bras, childhood diaries, young love, puberty, menopause, maxipads, you name it…if it has anything to do with the female life cycle, you can bet it’ll be memorialized and crowned, dissected and analyzed, paid tribute to and laughed at in this farcical foray of growing up girly-girly.

Girls Only finds its roots in a dense body of work created by the Denver-based improvisational comedy troupe A.C.E., a trio made up of Barbara Gehring (a Canadian), Linda Klein (an American) and Matthew Taylor (an Englishman) who created shows that are at once highly structured but absolutely free-spirited, full of spontaneous, unrehearsed dialogue and an exuberant engagement with the audience. That format is a tasty concoction of television variety show, stand-up comedy and cabaret—a tall order for even the most seasoned and polished actress.

So, ok, can we talk? There are other comedies that embrace female themes. Menopause: The Musical comes to mind as a top-notch presentation in this genre of comedies. But sadly, similar attempts by playwrights fail to reach their entertainment potential because the script is too long and complicated with emotional baggage, the characters are staid, or the show is laced with overt, graphic, sexual content and relentless vulgarity that, quite honestly, kills the comedy. Girls Only is significantly and effectively—and refreshingly—different. Very different.

This national hit comedy is chock-full of production value and a sensational creative mix of sketch comedy, song and dance, improvisation and, of course, audience participation.  This show can be successful only if the two starring ladies are able to navigate this brilliant ship.

Maine favorites Nancy Durgin and Cheryl Reynolds are perfectly cast, with a masterful blend of extensive experience as professional actresses, women, and close friends onstage and off. They are lovable, comfortable, charming and hilarious right from the start, easily and naturally connecting with everyone at their slumber party.

This comedic duo does it all with 100% accuracy—singing, comedy, hand-numbing choreography, even a stellar and moving ballet that is sheer glee— never missing a beat, always in control of their stage antics, and prompting endless ROFLMAO guffaws from a most satiated audience.

Durgin and Reynolds handle all the sensitive topics with a realism and tender humor that all the ladies in the audience will appreciate and relate to. As the creators of the show put it, “if a woman knows what “the time of the month” is, she’s old enough to enjoy the show. There is nothing risqué in the content of the show, rather it is a reminder that underneath, women all have very funny and very charming feminine similarities.”

Artistic Director Michael Tobin spares no expense in creating a most welcoming party atmosphere for the ladies (and gentlemen) who see the show. One can literally spend hours in dreamy reverie just perusing the set dressing and enjoying the pre-show entertainment. It’s your childhood bedroom reborn, complete with your collection of posters, record albums, games, books, magazines, toys, dolls, snacks and nick nacks that comprised your exclusive memory bank.

Girls Only is all about women having fun and laughing at themselves. Women are encouraged to bring their mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends for a perfect girls’ night out. The more women you come with, the more you’ll be encouraged to share your own memories when you leave—or perhaps in the show? (shh). Men who do brave the elements might recognize and appreciate some exclusively-female trials and tribulations their girlfriends or wives face.

Girls Only—The Secret Comedy Of Women might just be summer theater’s hottest ticket, running through July 2nd, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 PM, at The Footlights’ cozy and intimate (and air-conditioned) theater located at 190 US Route 1 in Falmouth. Tickets are $18, $15 for Seniors (62+) and $10 for Children (-16). For reservations and more info, call 747-5434 or visit www.thefootlightsinfalmouth.com.


–Louis Philippe


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