Linda Klein found her childhood diary and had a good laugh. Relationship, school and family drama filled the pages. She thought her longtime writing partner, Barbara Gehring, would find it equally as funny.
“We were reading our diaries to each other that afternoon, and I said it could be a show,” Gehring says. “It’s something that’s universal for everyone because it’s all based in honesty and truth. You can’t make this stuff up.”
The result is The Secret Comedy of Women – Girls Only, an original comedy celebrating the honor, truth, humor and silliness of being female. Performances are at the Herberger Theater Center January 23 to February 24.
“We had a blast brainstorming all-things female,” Gehring says. “We started with diaries and all the funny things women go through in life.”
Klein adds, “We wrote a show that demonstrates to women all the triumphs over everything that’s put in their way. We get a laugh out of how hard it is to put on pantyhose and the heartbreaks of first boyfriends.”
The Secret Comedy of Women is a mix of sketch comedy, improvisation, audience participation and hilarious songs and videos.
“It is a unique theatrical experience in the sense it’s a blend of a lot of theater, sketch comedy and a Broadway theater,” Klein says.
“People like the fact it has a great pace and things are changing all the time. Every audience has a different experience, but it’s always like a girlhood reunion.”
The Secret Comedy of Women is intended for female audiences, but men enjoy it as well.
“There was a man who was brought to the show by his sisters,” Gehring says. “I think he had seven sisters. They were all sitting in the front. He was the one who started the standing ovation. He said, ‘That was my life growing up. What a celebration of my beautiful sisters.’
“Other women are overwhelmed with laughter and say they should have brought their Depends, or we should sell them at intermission. We have lot of women who are touched by it and are not exactly sure why.”
Women enjoy reminiscing about their high school years, Klein and Gehring say. It can be emotional and funny.
The Secret Comedy of Women ran for two years at the Denver Centre for the Performing Arts, and in front of a quarter of a million guests nationally, Gehring says. The show is appropriate for folks of all ages.
“We had a group of 11-year-olds at a show for a birthday party and they all had a ball,” Klein says. “There’s something in there for a woman of any age. It looks at women in a light-hearted, innocent way.”
The Secret Comedy of Women, Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix, 602.256.6995, herbergertheater.com, 2 p.m. Wednesdays, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays January 23 to February 24, $54-$62.