At first it started as a fun kitschy show from a little known theatre in Chicago called The New Colony who wrote it as one of their very first original pieces based on a wild brainstorming challenge. After that first production, the script fell onto the desk of What If? co-founders Kyle Barnette and Brian Porter who got a kick out of it and tried it out in the spring of 2012 for their second season. It was such a short run hit that they brought it back for that season’s Piccolo Spoleto where the show was the talk of the festival, ending up on the cover of Charleston City Paper’s Spoleto issue. After strong demand it made a December 2013 return as a Christmas show. And now the ladysisters of the Susan B Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are back for a fourth round and second Piccolo Spoleto appearance with custom made costumes, two new cast members and a massive fan base that has already seen returning patrons visiting Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche for its pre-Piccolo show return.
The little show that could has been a Charleston comedy favorite since its debut in 2012 and helped build the aesthetic and quirky vibe that has become the What If? Productions’ signature style. Following its world premiere in Chicago and its East Coast premiere here in Charleston, Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche has gone on to become an international sensation, with the original Chicago production becoming the hit of the NY Fringe Festival in 2012 and the script being picked up by renowned theatre publishing house Samuel French with productions being done from Denmark to Japan in recent years.
One hallmark of the Charleston productions has been maintaining a solid base of cast members with three of the original ‘lesbians’ (Becca Anderson, Beth Curley and Andrea McGinn) reprising their roles in all four cycles of the show. The other two roles in the play, Ginny and Vern, have seen a rotation of several gifted actors taking on those two characters, giving each production of the show a totally new vibe and feel each time. Recent Charleston City Paper Best Actress winner Sarah Callahan Black and Pure Core Ensemble Member and Theatre 99 regular Camille Lowman fill in the two new roles respectively for the current version of the show.
This latest production features a stunning lineup of custom made 1950’s housewife costumes designed by new design group Charleston Costume Design and Rentals and has even inspired a popular animated rendering of the current cast by local artist John Black. But the real success of the show can be attributed to the simple charm of the outrageous script that tells the story of five widows who are leading the 1956 meeting of the Susan B Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein’s Annual Quiche Breakfast and the fallout that takes place when a nuclear attack hits the area and all inhibitions fly right our the window.
Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche is written by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood and this production is again directed by What If? Artistic Director Kyle Barnette (Cabaret, Thrill Me, Hewig & the Angry Inch). The show will begin its Piccolo Spoleto Festival 2017 with a performance on Friday May 27th and run five shows through June 3. Dates and times vary.
Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood
at 84 1/2 Society Street Piccolo Spoleto dates: May 27, 28, June 1 & 4 at 7:00pm // June 2 at 9:00pm