Girls in the Front
The triumphant return of Mary Kay Has A Posse
A full house settled into the seats of Theatre 99 on Friday afternoon, only to be knocked out of them (metaphorically) immediately by the reunited members of Mary Kay Has A Posse.
Jessica Chase, Jennifer Dyer-Buddin, Camille Lowman, and Brandy Sullivan are best friends who now all live in separate cities, and the split did nothing but reinforce the bond between the quartet. It was readily apparent that the ladies were excited as hell to be onstage together again, and their excitement was infectious.
They began the show — as always — by making all their names end with an “I” (think about it…) as they sat at the front of the stage and began with “Posse Talk,” their twisted, much funnier version of The View. They interacted with the audience, silently soaking up suggestions for the later, long-form (though occasionally very short) sketches.
Mixed into the 120 seats of Theatre 99, there was a man from Atlanta who was in town to visit his son, a group of women from Austin (“Jenny”: “With that security fence, did you have a hard time getting here?”), and a girl who announced that she was moving to Columbia … South Carolina … for grad school. This wasn’t just making idle chatter with the crowd; it, along with some of the preshow audience selections they pulled out of a sparkly silver hat, became the basis for most of the 14 short long-form improvised bits that the Posse ripped into after the lights went down on the first “Posse Talk” segment.
Some of the highlights of the skits were Brandy and Jen as two people trying to “escape from Austin” who dressed up as the Bush twins (they escaped by fooling a trigger-happy G.W., as portrayed by Camille), Jess as Juan Valdez (pulling Jen by the hair as her mule) handing Camille a cup of coffee (Columbia, remember?), and Brandy and Camille as Joey Buttafucco and Amy Fischer (respectively).
Of course, these skits are totally new and different for every show. One of the wonders of the Mary Kay experience is how in the hell they can keep track of everything that’s going on, threading themes throughout the skits and finally wrapping everything up in a tidy, hilarious little bow. They somehow make running on and off stage frantically and coming up with joke after joke after joke look easy.
On Friday afternoon, the crowd was practically perfect, laughing at the group’s witty political references in all the right places and coming along with them as they forged completely untreaded paths through the forest of comedy.
As they went back to “Posse Talk” to wrap up, all of them announced what they learned — Jen said that she’d learned how to do the Harlem Shuffle, which she then demonstrated — and then Brandy finished it off with a cherry on top, as she closed out the show and the “show” with a brilliant bon mot: “Tomorrow’s Brochure Club day, so forget the book club, let’s get down the brochures!”
If you haven’t bought your ticket for Sunday’s show, you’re probably out of luck, as they’ve been selling out all their shows for this (too short) Piccolo run. Don’t make the same mistake next time!
MARY KAY HAS A POSSE • Piccolo Spoleto’s Piccolo Fringe • $15 • (1 hour) • June 3 at 6 p.m. • Theatre 99, 280 Meeting St. • 554-6060