Girls Only at the Garner Galleria in Denver
Plus Ca Change But Not Quite La Meme Chose
By: Susan Hall - Nov 25, 2011
by and with Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein
The Garner Galleria
Denver Performing Arts Center
Through December 3
Girls Only is a feel good evening for little girls of all ages. Like the Tupperware party, there are brave men scattered through the club. They get razzed from time to time just because they are guys.
The creators of the evening, and its performers, Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein were reading newly discovered pre-pubescent diaries to each other when they started howling and crying. If they were so moved by memories, perhaps others would be too. What started as a one night stand has rolled on gathering force ever since.
The girls of all ages in the cabaret thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Some scenes were surprising and striking. The climax and finale is a tour de force. Donning a pair of pantyhose (misnamed because they are of one piece, and there's the rub), tug by tug is hilarious. The unmanageability of a piece of nylon designed to protect and show off our legs is a clear indication that Americans can't engineer for practical application. This subtle nylon covering is confoundingly difficult to handle. But Gehring and Klein cleverly suggest that if you turn on Dance of the Sugar Plums as you struggle, all the tuggle will feel like arabesques and echappe sur les pointes.
Menopause is not visualized with hot flashes or weepy collapses. Instead the ladies are inventive, creating useful tools out of leftover tampons and sanitary napkins. When you see a beautiful angel tree ornament designed from tampax, using the long cord as its hanging hook, you won't be able to resist ordering one right away.
A charming vignette created with the silhouettes of puppets on sticks tells the history of women. It ends up with a de-capitation. Witches among us beware hangings.
Part coffee clatch, part Mary Kaye, part the plain old unchanging facts of life that set us off from boys and make us want them so much (or put with more political correctness, desire the ying and yang), Girls Only is a hoot. It's innocent and in some moments, when we stop to realize the consequences of our biology, it is both nostalgic and hopeful. Even though one of the thrills of the evening is having your purse snatched.
This charming evening recalls the song from Gigi: Thank heaven or little girls, for little girls get bigger every day! ...they grow up in the most delightful way.
Thank heaven for Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein.