Girls Night: The Musical

Review by Willard Manus

What do women talk about when men aren't around? According to Louise Roche, the creator of GIRLS NIGHT: THE MUSICAL, it's mostly about sex, followed by boob, butt, baby and boyfriend jokes. Roche, a British tv exec (and mother of three), came up with the idea for GIRLS NIGHT five years ago. It was a simple, even banal idea--five women friends getting together for a wild night out at a karaoke club--but it caught on big in the U.K. and now an Americanized version (by Betsy Kelso) has opened at the Coronet Theatre after its U.S. premiere at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The five women--actually one's an angel (Jennifer Jane) down from heaven to play m.c. and peacemaker--spend the night yakking, drinking, pill-popping, singing and dancing. Performed lustily by Janine Smith, Sonya Carter, Lisa Fogel and Danielle Wetzel (as directed by Jack Randle), they drop all inhibitions when they're together and talk dirty for two hours. The songs they belt out are old disco favorites from their pubescent days--Cry Me a River, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, I Am What I Am and We Are Family, to name but a few.

The appeal of such a show is identical to that which once drew large crowds of women to male strip clubs. Raunchy sex is what it's all about, plus audience participation (singing and dancing in the aisles is desperately encouraged). GIRLS NIGHT is a variation on a theme by Chippendale.

Coronet Theatre, 366 N. LaCienaga Blvd. (310) 657-7377