As I walk into the Threshold Repertory Theatre for a performance of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, I’m handed a name tag to wear. Barbara, it reads. I make my way to my seat and sit down. In the chair beside me is a middle-aged man named Mary. Or at least that’s what his tag says. It seems that the funny business has started even before 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche has officially begun.
The year’s 1956 and the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are throwing their annual quiche breakfast. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when the women learn that nuclear war is imminent. It is then that the quintet decide that must do what they can to save the human race — and that something is to eat a quiche.
By and large, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche’s strengths lay in the script by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood. Linder and Hobgood weave clever punch lines throughout the plot, anchoring the seemingly absurd premise so that the story captivates and invigorates us. But the true genius of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quichee is in the way that the writing allows for the actress to engage in improv, giving the play its true, off-the-cuff character.
Aside from the slightest of hiccups in delivery, the acting was strong, with the actress each making the eccentric characters their own. What’s more, the play engages its viewers so that the audience may participate in the scene unfolding before their eyes. There’s something quite fun about yelling out, “Hellooooo, sisters,” and realizing that the audience isn’t some stationary figure in the background, it’s essential to the story.
The play’s costumes were right in line with 1950s America, from the strands of pearls to the A-line skirts and purple pantsuits. While the sound quality was right on point, the lighting tended to take away from the scene. As the play shifted from pitch black to bright lights, audience members were forced to squint their eyes.