Ladies who lunch

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

Dale (Ashley Marie James) and Wren (Sophie Moeller) can’t quite handle the delicious quiche.

Dale (Ashley Marie James) and Wren (Sophie Moeller) can’t quite handle the delicious quiche.

Photo/Allison Young

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche is presented at by Brüka Theatre, 99. N. Virginia St., July 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 31, and Aug. 1 and 2 at 8 p.m., and July 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 general and $18 students/seniors in advance, or $25 at the door. For tickets, visit For more information, visit
Rated 4.0

Just call me Juanita.

I spent 90 minutes with that name, after one of the members of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein christened me by slapping a nametag across my chest as I entered the annual “meeting and quiche breakfast,” a.k.a. a preview performance of Brüka Theatre’s 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche.

Every “member” was treated thusly, and given similarly old-fashioned monikers, e.g. Norma, Mildred and Edith—even the men. Each of us was greeted by the club’s officers (and director Sandra Brunell Neace), who thanked us for attending the meeting and dressing in such beautiful frocks.

Then the officers called the meeting to order, and away we went, with the 5 Lesbians taking us—somewhat against our will—back to the seemingly sexually repressive days of 1956.

Our officers are Wren (Sophie Moeller), the events chair; Vern (Jamie Woodham), in charge of buildings and grounds; Dale (Ashley Marie James), Wren’s assistant and, apparently, the club’s archivist; Ginny (Stacy Johnson), the secretary and newest member of the group; and, of course, President Lulie (Amy Ginder).

The ladies, impeccably dressed in ’50s-era A-line dresses provided by Cynthia Lewis and Dressed Like That, called the meeting to order. Ginny, a plump English girl in horn-rimmed glasses, provided the evening’s agenda. Lulie, after her opening remarks, announced the winning quiche and brought us up to speed on the goings on since last year’s meeting. Vern said she’d updated the clubhouse with a state-of-the-art security system—it is the Cold War, you know—as well as rations to last each person in attendance the duration of our stay in the makeshift bomb shelter, if it should come to that. It’s by far an improvement over the last person to hold this office—“Marjorie,” a man in attendance who had the misfortune of sitting front row center and took quite a beating from the officers!

Then, the siren sounded. Was it a test, or was it actually the atomic bomb? Either way, we were all stuck together, thanks to Vern’s specially rigged, bomb-proof doors. And the stark realization hit that the quiche sitting on the table before them was the only quiche they would eat again.

This is when things got a little out of hand. The ladies, usually models of decorum and restraint, started to show their true colors—which, in this case, were a rainbow. Yes, big shocker, the “sisters” were big ol’ lesbians. And so were we all … especially poor “Marjorie.”

What I’m saying here is that you may need a drink or three before, or even during, this show. Expect dozens of hack lesbian clichés and vulgar jokes. Expect that you will laugh—hysterically, though occasionally you will groan, too—but also that you may just reach a point where the awkward innuendos and self-revelations grow tiresome, and you start to wonder, “What’s the meaning of all this? I enjoyed this short little play, a runaway success from the New York International Fringe Festival. I loved Ginder’s portrayal of Lulie, a buttoned-up society lady with a too-big smile to cover her little secret. Moeller’s contorted, overly pleased face is a work of art, and cleverly represents the mask that ladies of this era often had to wear. And I’ve loved everything I’ve seen Jamie Woodham do, but her Vern was especially funny.

But despite its relatively short length, I could easily see a good 15-20 minutes being shaved off it, and after a while I found myself thinking, “Really? That old lesbian joke?” The pauses felt a beat too long, the jokes belabored a bit too much. Like I said, a few drinks may be in order here.

But overall I enjoyed spending time as Juanita. I considered myself lucky; I could have been Marjorie.