It was crowded on the Cellar Door stage last night -- 10,000 Busby Berkely dancers, the Andrews Sisters (with Eleanor Roosevelt sitting in), a pump rock band, an off-Broadway show. Amazingly, all this activity emanated from four zany and inventive women who parade as the High Heeled Women.
Cassandra Danz, Mary Fulham, Tracey Berg, and Arleen Sorkin (who grew up in Washington and acted locally for a number of years) are first-rate comediennes who have opted for the straight edge of women's humor as opposed to the pointedness of feminist/political humor. It's a sharpness that is endearing rather than endured.
Berg and Sorkin in particular have comedic star qualities, from agonizingly active facial mannerisms and instinctive body English to raw energy that fairly jumps out of each character. The slow moments last night were few, the guffaws and whoops from the audience many. Among the better extended bits were a praody of "For Colored Girls" -- "For White Girls Who Have Considered Analysis When Electrolysis is Enuf" -- a fervent and uproarious gospel sendup by a "Fundamentalist Mentalist Feminist," High Heeled WACs" in which the ladies secretly win World War II "Unaided and A Cappella" and the Berkeley tribute. The last showed a reverence for nuance as well as an eye for the obvious. Most comedy should be this funny. High Heeled Women will be back before long.