Girls Girls Girls: The female of the species

Girls Girls Girls launches its Boys of Summer series with guest male improviser Jeremy Lamb

What mad witchery forms a pentacle of estrogen and places a blazing point of testosterone at its center? What double-X performative quincunx ganks a hirsutorufous and heterochromosomed soloist to bring a boxcar of spontaneous gambits to the stage?

Girls Girls Girls they call themselves, and we were especially lucky to catch their recent improv gig at the Hideout. Especially lucky, because this was the start of the all-female troupe's Boys of Summer series, occurring each Saturday night through Aug. 11, in which the Girls introduce a similarly talented male improviser into their hen-party hijinks.

We reckon it'd be difficult to find someone of similar talent, because the Girls (those of the group who were able to show up) – Shana Merlin, Monique Daviau, Andrea Young, Kacey Samiee, and Aden Kirschner – are so damned talented themselves. Able to pull rabbits of extemporaneous comedy from any audience-suggestion hat, the Girls are assistants only to one another's magic, and the smoothness with which they mesh their methods and madness is, at times, beyond the prestidigitation of Harry Kellar. (Much less frequently, and fleetingly, it can be as clunky as a Silent Running drone with advanced metal fatigue and Bruce Dern hanging on to one leg. But then, GGG not only improvises a long-form narrative comprising about a dozen complementary vignettes; they do this in the format of a musical, with, like, actual singing going on. So let's see you try it, pally.) So, yes, where do they find their onstage match in the company of men?

Well, this is Austin, so the pickings are good. And thus it was the Available Cupholders' Jeremy "Bearded" Lamb under the spotlights with Girls Girls Girls this first time out, adding his Dakin-esque brand of raw, surging manliness to the feminine mystiquery as the troupe performed a tale of toddler-age gender politics and grownup class war from the suggestion "day-care center." As if we've never written about improv before, let's note the good way it makes our brain hurt in considering the mental gymnastics required of six people to create, with no previous discussion, an hourlong story that establishes multicharacter conflicts and then, via several hilarious scenes, resolves those conflicts. Keyboardist Jason Laney added mag wheels and racing stripes to the vehicle of (often intentional) humor and song and helped to make this GGG show a highlight in the ongoing smorgasbord of local comedy. The following Saturdays will bring Michael Brockman on keyboard and guest improvisers Les McGehee, Andy Crouch, Kareem Badr, Shannon McCormick, and John Ratliff … until, inevitably, the Boys of Summer are gone.


Girls Girls Girls' Boys of Summer series continues through Aug. 11, Saturday, 8pm, at the Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress. For more information, visit ggg.austinimprov.com.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

improv, Austin improv, Girls Girls Girls, Shana Merlin, Jeremy Lamb

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