In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, Tina Fey addresses the tiresome question, Can women be as funny as men? "It's (a debate) that now I feel free to opt out of because it's just so boring," said Fey, who is one of the funniest humans on the planet.
In Houston, at least right now, it seems that funny women rule, judging by the success of Girls Only. The play, whose full name is Girls Only — The Secret Comedy of Women, opened at Main Street Theater's Chelsea Market around Labor Day and was scheduled to end its run in mid-October.
"Because the script started with the authors’ childhood diaries, it rings true, audiences believe it as authentic, and because parts of the show are improv, each night’s production is unique."
But the show's promoter, Sydney Greenblatt, says that Houston audiences have taken to the play so faithfully that it has been extended another six weeks. It is now scheduled to close on Dec. 2.
The play has had similar success in Denver, where it premiere in 2008 and ran for nearly two years. In Minneapolis it ran for nine months and in Pittsburgh it was extended for three months.
"Girls Only has been a runaway success in every market and that is obviously because of the nature of the show itself," Greenblatt wrote in an email.
"Because the script started with the authors’ childhood diaries, it rings true, audiences believe it as authentic, women relate to it in a very personal way, and because parts of the show are improv, each night’s production is unique. No matter how many times you see it it’s going to be different. And we’ve had many women return with other friends so they could share the joy."
The production, which is equal parts scripted play, comedy skits, and improv routines, was created by Linda Klein and Barbara Gehring, members of the A.C.E. comedy troupe in Denver.
As CultureMap's Tarra Gaines wrote, "the two-woman show was inspired by Klein's finding her childhood diaries and asking Gehring, her writing and performing partner, if she had ever read her own as an adult. The two sat down over coffee one afternoon to read and compare. Once their laughter died down, they realized those diaries might be the impetus for their next comedy show."
Greenblatt noted that the estrogen level of Houston audiences is high, although a few men have been present in all but two of 20 performance thus far. "The age of the audience is really wide. We’ve had a number of teenagers and on Saturday we even had a mom there with her 7-year-old and 13-year-old daughters. I would say that this is a show that appeals to ages 12 to 112! It isn’t bawdy, there’s no bad language…it’s just pure fun!"
And she added, "It helps that there is adjacent parking at the theater, two restaurants in the Chelsea Market complex….so it’s a perfect girls night out."