From the archives: this article was originally published on January 17, 2023
The Secret Comedy of Women is a show that finds its roots in a dense body of work created by the Denver-based immersive comedy troupe A.C.E., made up of Linda Klein (an American), Barbara Gehring (a Canadian) and Matthew Taylor (an Englishman). It is one of the 50-plus shows A.C.E. created over its 25-year history.
Every show they created had a theme and when Barbara and Linda re-discovered their childhood diaries back in 2004, they knew those precious little books would be great fodder for a comedy show. That summer when Matthew was on an extended vacation, the duo thought it was the perfect time to experiment with a woman-centric show.
The first production was performed one night only at Denver’s original Avenue Theatre, and Barbara and Linda had to control the lights, sound and video from the stage. The response was exceptional, and they knew they had tapped into something very special.
The show did not return to the A.C.E. line-up for three more years. In 2007 Barbara and Linda decided it was time to dust off that magic little show to see if it had legs. They spent a year exhaustively refining and tightening the show.
That hard work culminated in a sold-out, six-week run early in 2008. They extended to seven weeks, added several extra performances, and remained sold out. During that run Barbara was seven months pregnant with her second child, so they couldn’t extend the run further. Everyone agreed that the show could have easily run several more weeks, if not months. Closing the show after only seven weeks was like trying to stop a freight train.
All of this commotion caught the attention of Randy Weeks, the late President of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and he offered to mount the production at their Garner Galleria cabaret theatre. After some thoughtful consideration (and some very excited jumping up and down), Barbara and Linda decided The Denver Center was a perfect match for their show.
The show ended up running there for nearly two years and launched the show’s national notoriety. It has since seen 40 productions across North America playing to over a quart of a million women. Who would have guessed that all of this would be born out of sharing childhood diaries?
Barbara and Linda are excited to play once again for the hometown crowd as they open their fifth run at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The Secret Comedy of Women will run February 1 – 26 at the Garner Galleria Theatre.
The Secret Comedy of Women
Jan 3-28, 2024 • Garner Galleria Theatre