Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

March 12, 2010

The Four Bitchin' Babes present "Hormonal Imbalance"

CityStage, Springfield, MA
by R.E. Smith
through March 13, 2010

Continuing what seems to be an unofficial "gender based" show theme at CityStage, "Hormonal Imbalance" provided one of the best evenings of entertainment this season. Despite the title, this show was a perfect "balance" of humor, storytelling and musical craftsmanship. The four immensely likable, relatable "babes" whipped up a sparkling concoction that was equal parts Indigo Girls, "Sex and the City" and "Weird" Al Yankovic. Modern folk, girlish confiding and pointed parody added up to a surprisingly well-rounded performance that tickled your funny bone and touched your heart.

From the opening harmony of "Oh, No," which laments the scattered forgetfulness of middle age, it is clear that these are very talented women - accomplished musicians and songwriters who happen to have impeccable comedic timing. Men should have no fear that this is a male-bashing session. The ladies love their "man-babes" and the focus is frustrations life, not the male gender.

To be sure, the draw for the show is the humor, with song titles such as the "Boob Fairy," "Hot Flashes" and "Elastic Waistbands." Some of these observations on the female condition had the audience literally gasping for breath. While not all the songs are humorous, they are all life affirming.

Each babe is given her moment to shine and display her considerable, multiple, musical chops. Debi Smith is a five-octave soprano who also plays the Bodhran (Irish drum). She skewers her own talents by releasing her "Inner Diva" then takes your breath away with her powerful song about parenthood. Deidre Flint, puts her stand-up comedy background to good use on "Cheerleader" and "Here Comes Metric," using impeccable delivery and timing. Sally Fingerett is an accomplished pianist when she isn't raiding her cupboard for "Chocolate." Her strong folk storytelling roots are the most evident. Nancy Moran, a respected Nashville talent, tells it like it is, explaining there is "(No Such Thing As) Girls Like That." She personified the best girlfriend everyone wishes they had.

Despite some turns toward more traditional musical styles, the quartet sends everyone home laughing. Audience members leave the theatre feeling they know these women and hoping for the opportunity to sit down and "dish" with them again.