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Pollak Has A ‘Girls Night’

“Ladies, get ready to shake it!” This is exactly what went down in the audience on Saturday, March 7, in Pollak Theatre; the mostly-female audience clapped and sang along to popular 70s and 80s hits with the cast of “Girls Night: The Musical.” The play was fun, energetic and interacted with the audience like no other show. The crowd roared with laughter as the five leading ladies took the spotlight in this hilarious comedy that hooked viewers right from the opening act. 

“Girls Night” opens up with a young lady (Jillian Soares) dressed in white bedazzled pants and a jean jacket and has a pair of angel’s wings. We find out that she is an angel named Sharon who directly speaks to the audience as a narrator for the musical. Sharon died from a moped accident when she was a young adult; at 16, she had a baby named Candy Rose whom she never met. Now, Candy Rose is getting married and Sharon’s four friends are holding a bachelorette party for her. 

Each of Sharon’s friends has a different personality that unravels throughout the play with flashbacks of the past and conversations throughout the night. Anita (Kelly Higgins) is on constant medication for her anxiety and has weird ramblings that sometimes distance her from her friends. Kate (Alex Tripp) is the conservative one, and a very appropriate woman that turns into the life of the party after a few cocktails. Tripp succeeded in making Kate the comic relief of the play. Carol (Sarah McShane) is Sharon’s best friend and a woman who continually wants to let go of her youth, but her regretful past seems to haunt her. Liza (Erin Baltsar) is the preppy blonde with a high-pitched laugh that giggles at her own sexual innuendos.

The ladies had such great chemistry and harmonized so well during amazing pop cultural hits like “I’m Every Woman,” “I Will Survive,” “It’s Raining Men,” “Lady Marmalade” and “We Are Family.” Their acting was so superb that it seemed as if they were actually friends reuniting for the first time in a long time. I felt like every female character was someone we all know: a friend, sister, acquaintance or just the crazy drunk girl on the dance floor that we film to put on YouTube. 

Higgins’ solo of “The Love of My Man” resulted in a theatre full of applause. McShane was also commended for her solo “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” which was the only real emotional part of the musical. Tripp provided one of the highlights of the night when she danced on a male audience member while singing “Cry Me a River.” Baltsar captivated the crowd with her comedic demeanor. Soares made a good tour guide through her friends’ lives, interacting with the audience members and dancing in the aisles beside them. 

Caroline Hesse, a freshman, said that she “thought [the musical] was awesome and upbeat.” 

Audience member Eliza Parillo said, “At first I didn’t know what to expect but I left the evening pleased. Those girls got talent.”

“Girls Night” made the audience want to sing and laugh as we learned about each woman’s past and the hope for the future of their friendship. In the end, it shows that girls just want to have fun—but with awesome friends. 

IMAGE COURTESY of Monmouth University