1812 Productions, Philadelphia’s all comedy theatre company, kicks off 2023 with the return of their wildly popular celebration of women in comedy, ‘Broads.’ Curated and directed by 1812’s Artistic Director Jennifer Childs, this all new cabaret highlights the bawdiest, boldest, and funniest ladies of the 1920s through the 1960’s. The show runs Jan. 26-Feb. 26, at Plays and Players Theatre.
“It’s such an honor to start the new year with this fiercely talented cast of incredible women as we create a brand new version of our popular 2019 hit,” notes Childs. “Broads is both a funny and timely experience; together, our ensemble will explore the rise of performers such as Mae West, Moms Mabley, Sophie Tucker, and more, through song and sketch. These ‘naughty’ women were unapologetically themselves, they refused to play by anyone else’s rules and in doing so created material and personas that became iconic. They had incredible tenacity and determination as they fearlessly pioneered the entertainment industry. And they were really really funny. This show honors their legacy.”
A hit from 1812 Productions’ 2018-19 season, Broads features classic and original material–both song and sketch–that celebrates the perseverance of the funniest female performers from the early to mid 20th Century. The legacy of women in comedy has been a favorite theme throughout 1812’s history, starting in 2004 with an original two-hander, Always a Lady, that featured a variety of classic material from female performers of the early 20th century. Since then, 1812 has celebrated the works of The Cherry Sisters, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller and many more.
“While choosing material for this show, a theme that quickly became apparent was ‘being unafraid,” said Childs. “These women were telling stories that men could laugh at because they were sensational, and that women could laugh at because they were, however outrageous, true—and they were risking career and reputation to do it. They were taking control of their material, being risqué, speaking their minds, and making the kind of comedy they wanted to make.
“Something that has made this process really special, given the new women’s movement that America is embarking on, is listening to material from performers like Sophie Tucker, Belle Barth, or Fanny Brice, and hearing the connections between their styles and comedians like Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, or Tiffany Haddish. There are these amazing comedy threads that are as hysterical today as they were 70 years ago. As somebody once said, ‘Everyone has a little Mae West in them.’”
Broads alumna and 1812 favorite Mary Elizabeth “MB” Scallen returns to the cabaret after her acclaimed turn in the 2019 production. The veteran performer will be joined by Broadway and Walnut Street Theatre favorite Rebecca Robbins (Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera, A Tale of Two Cities) and Barrymore Award Winner Melanye Finister.
BROADS is part of the The Kim & David Adler Series. Single tickets are currently on sale at 1812productions.org.
Source: Berkshire mont
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