In all of life, is there anything more precious than a quiche? That’s the question posed by the ridiculously wonderful “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” which premiered last week at the Theater Company of Lafayette.
The long one-act play puts audiences into an important meeting in 1956 of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein: the annual quiche-making contest. For the members of the sisterhood, there is nothing more sacred than an egg, and nothing more wondrous than a batch of eggs made into the most delectable, and very overtly sexual, quiche.
The play is a passively interactive experience, with every member of the audience being inducted into the sisterhood with a nametag (I was Bernice) and some very polite conversation with the sisters in charge of the meeting. Bibles are handed out, snapshots taken for the scrapbook, and gossip is whispered before the show hits the road.
As the name suggests, there is something very special about the group and the relationship between the sisters. But in 1956, being true to oneself wasn’t easy. And it takes a nuclear bomb, the destruction of the entire world and a future without eggs to make the “widows” of the sisterhood admit their widowhood is just hiding their true identity: they’re all lesbians and so is everyone in the audience.
The 75-minute play is packed with innuendo-soaked dialogue, jokes about the awfulness of men and the empowerment of being true to oneself. For a ridiculous show that has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek, it’s more than just some good laughs. There’s something wonderful about seeing a group of people finally stop lying to themselves and be who they truly are. Even if it takes the end of the world for them to be able to do it.
The cast of five embraces the absurdity of the show and plays every joke for the maximum amount of guffaws. The cast, however, doesn’t stray too far from their character’s motivations. Yes, everything is played for humor, but the humor doesn’t come at the cost of the story or character development.
For those who aren’t acquainted with the little company in Lafayette, the tiny theater is set in a turn-of-the-century church that has been converted into a theater that seats less than 80. Unlike some black boxes in the metro area, the Lafayette theater is one of those theaters that doesn’t have a bad seat in the house and allows for enough space between the audience and the cast for an enjoyable experience.
Given the show’s short run time and the distance from the metro area, many will have to drive to make it to curtain call, it might not make sense to trek all the way up to Lafayette to catch the run. But if one has the time, or if one happens to be up north anyway, it is worth making a stop into the theater for the love of quiche.
Four out of five stars
“5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” by the Theater Company of Lafayette.
Playing now through June 2 at the Mary Miller Theater. For tickets and more information, visit tclstage.org.