BY ANISHA PAI '19
The student-run revue, Lipstick Thespians, performed in Rooke Theatre during Family & Friends Weekend on Oct. 21. Produced by Molly Paige ’18 and stage managed by Achaetey Kabal ’17, the show featured a series of unconnected sketches and songs, ranging from serious to comical.
Performances included a monologue from “Fairy Tale: The Ever After,” scenes from “The Odd Couple” and “The Importance of Being Earnest” and an original skit on Bob Ross written by Ionelee Brogna ’17. Brogna also performed songs by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Other students performed numbers from “RENT” and “Les Miserábles,” and Maeve Moller-Mullen ’17 sang an original song entitled “Precious.”
For the show’s finale, Bryn Alex Morgan ’20 and Smith first-year Tessa Solomon staged a clown-themed commentary on the US election. The act featured no dialogue and had the two characters communicate via kazoos.
Dressed in cabaret fashion, with a coat-tailed tuxedo jacket, fishnet stockings and giant red stilettos, Em Hornbeck ’17 emceed the event with dry, straight- faced humor.
“We wanted it to be low stakes; we wanted people to have fun,” said Paige, “My vision or goal for the show was really just to get people to perform on the stage and in front of a crowd and to have a good time.” Paige performed the scene from “The Importance of Being Earnest” with Maria Signorelli ’17.
Rosie Xu ’19 and Esther Kim ’20 staged the scene from the 1965 play “The Odd Couple,” in which their characters, Florence Unger and Olive Madison, argue about several pet peeves that have built up over their time living together.
“This is my first performance here on the main stage and it feels awesome,” said Xu. “It’s actually better than our rehearsal because there’s an audience who are so supportive of funny plots and lines and laugh every time.”
The show didn’t have a director and Paige explained that she acted as a ‘director-lite’. Most of the performers, knowing exactly what they wanted to do coming in, directed themselves. Noah Tuleja, a professor of the theatre department, offered advice to Paige and the other students if needed.
“I thought it turned out really well,” Tuleja said, “I’d seen it a couple of times during tech and it’s grown a lot in the last few days.”
Though advertised as a student cabaret, the show was influenced by professors in the technical departments.
“I would say the light, sound and costume was a lot higher level than a student cabaret would be,” said Kabal, “Because there ended up being so much [demand] tech wise, there just had to be more influence from the staff.”
There was no overarching theme for the show. Naming the show Lipstick Thespians was initially a throwaway idea from costume shop manager Elaine Bergeron, but it eventually inspired the pre- and post-show playlists, which featured several different lesbian artists. The cast performed their bows to “Secrets” by Mary Lambert.
“I came along with a friend not knowing what Lipstick Thespians was, but I was so glad that I came because the performances were so entertaining and diverse,” Haimi Nguyen ’19 said. “It was such a pleasure spending a Friday afternoon watching those talented and enthusiastic actors and actresses.”