Direction by Luanne Nunes de la Char is vibrant, full of energy, and delightful. Luanne Nunes de la Char ensures that the two women on stage an instantly relatable in their opening commentary on Victoria's Secret catalogues through the ballet finale of the second act. She has directed the show in six other productions, but every aspect of her direction feels fresh. Each laugh out loud moment is met with hearty guffaws, claps, and cheers. Likewise, each heartwarming moment earns the appropriate sentimental response. Her direction is just as stellar as her leading ladies, ensuring that the show is a fantastic experience for every member of the audience (including repeat visitors).
The girls, portrayed by Tracy Ahern and Keri Henson, have such warm, infectious bubbly personalities that the audience cannot help but love them. Before the show even begins, the duo is on stage in their underwear, dancing along to the pre-show music and looking at magazines. As the audience files in, they too are singing and dancing along. Instantly, they form a bond with the actresses through this shared experience. This very bond carries them through the hilarious and intimate celebration of the female experience away from the "male gaze" and patriarchal stereotypes of gender roles and femininity.
The chemistry between Keri Henson and Tracy Ahern is so strong, that they easily convince the audience that they have been best friends for years and years. They are magnanimous and captivating, which makes the moments where they get to interact with the audience all the more enjoyable. The pair is so fun and charming, that the audience is thrilled when given the opportunity to participate and be a part of the show.
Claire A. Jac Jones Scenic Design is a wonderful homage to the original set for the production at Denver Center Attractions. More impressively, it looks permanent and immobile, when in fact it is not. This set is struck each night so that Main Street Theater's Theater for Youth programs can use the space during the day. Therefore, Claire A. Jac Jones has developed a fantastic set that is highly mobile while being fantastically detailed.
Eric L. Marsh has wonderfully lit the show with his expert Lighting Design. Mostly using warm washes tinged with delicate and soft pinks, he captures the spirit and emotion of the show with ease. The lights do shift and change as needed, but the design remains simplistic and never detracts from the performance of the skilled cast.
Danitra Luers' Property Design is spectacular. She has perfectly assembled several generations worth of "girl" memorabilia. I don't think 5-year dairies are even made anymore, but she managed to find some. There are other throwback items that decorate the set and are utilized by the cast in the production that showcases her attention to detail and her efforts in making sure that each item on display is appropriate.
Macy Perrone's costuming is great. The costume change that occurs just before the girls sing "It's Just My Bra" is humorous and made some ladies gasp in delighted shock. Likewise, her pieces for the "Up For Puberty" segment are wonderful too. These costumes alone leave the audience chuckling, and then the actresses sell the scene with ease.
While the show is a celebration of women and their unique struggles, men can enjoy the show to. Yes, the writers allow the actresses to pick on men in the audience, but it is all done in jest and with love. Despite the title, the show is not simply for girls only. Boys and men can learn from it, laugh at all the comedy, and enjoy the performance as well.
GIRLS ONLY – THE SECRET COMEDY OF WOMEN is a fun, bubbly, and entertaining celebration of womanhood. It's one that you can enjoy with your mother or your daughter. It's one you can enjoy with your best girlfriends and your work girlfriends. The show makes for an unforgettable "Girls Night Out" in Houston. GIRLS ONLY is good, clean fun that is sure to leave you rolling in the aisles and gasping for air. You'll laugh until your sides ache and then some.