The Lady Troubles, Triplette, at the Playground Theater. This debut sketch-comedy revue by Rebecca Fox, Laura Grey, and Heather Simms combines playful observations on a variety of mostly female subjects with the slaphappy energy of a slumber party. Though the show lacks the biting commentary you might expect from a production purporting to look at 21st-century womanhood, it has a genuine lighthearted intelligence. The humor is based more on the characters than the situations, which can be dark: a hyperactive, well-meaning girlfriend offers to cheer up her pal with martinis after an abortion, an infertile woman negotiates hysterically to keep her friend's child ("I gave you one of Snowball's kittens!"), seniors enter into a bittersweet retirement-home love triangle, and a little girl hides in the attic after forgetting to flush the toilet, her shame reinforced by sadistic stuffed animals. The trio's well-drawn portraits suggest both an ultrakeen awareness of human insecurities and a point of view unsullied by life's darker side.
Each woman has a distinctive presence. Fox is smirky and smooth, especially when playing a compulsive picnicker wordlessly laying out a spread of all-white food. Poised, flexible Grey moves from TV cop to cell phone brat to pouting bourgeoise with ease. Simms is a bundle of frayed nerves with freckles, a whimpering foil for the other two. Under Megan Kellie's direction, the three nimbly mesh their talents, and the joy of their camaraderie fills the room.