Girl Meets Girl, at the Theatre Building Chicago. Promoted as "like Friends without the guys," Craig Fox and Sally Stover's play presents a circle of "warrior women." The opening scene--a surprise party for repressed magazine editor Anita (Cleo Brittan)--establishes the status quo: Kim and Lois (Angela Carmen and Dylan Chenery) are the model couple, going on ten years of monogamy. Bud (Mercury) is a pierced, sex-charged bundle of angst, while Glory (Deb Wright) is an earth mother overflowing with goddess love and organic champagne. Enter free-spirited stripper Annie (Jamie Cotton). Her paid engagement morphs into a hot, way fast romance with Anita, inciting jealousy and juicy revelations.
The sitcom analogy works. Though the clean, straightforward script is a tad preachy ("live for the moment"), it probes sensitive issues without being too taxing. The light, surprising humor is delivered by likable characters, though not with equal finesse. Carmen, Chenery, and Wright fully embrace their characters, and Mercury shines when she's reacting and not reciting. But Cotton and Brittan still need to find themselves. When Annie is happy, Cotton sticks to one cadence and punctuates every line with a breathy half laugh--but she becomes frighteningly real when Annie is serious. With Brittan, the higher the emotional pitch, the wider the chasm between actor and character. If their performances even out, and if the sitcom police ever let women bare their tits on-screen, this could be the anchor of a new "Must See TV" evening.