“Women Behind Bars” theater review.


HomeMovieListReviewPop CultureComicsCelebritiesTvSuperheroesEntertainmentVintageCosplayFact Or FictionHow ToZombies
All Tags
Geeks is powered by Vocal creators. You support robert massimi by reading, sharing and tipping stories… more
Geeks is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
‘Women Behind Bars’
Funny to the Core

In 1976, Women Behind Bars was first performed at The Truck and Warehouse Theater at 79 East 4th St. Written by Tom Eyen (Dreamgirls and Dirtiest Show In Town), Women is a spoof on jailed women of the late 1950s.

The show is about women from all walks of life locked up for various reasons. Some of the women are insane, some on the border of insanity. The women battle the Matron (Kelli Lynn Harrison) and each other. We see these women trying to survive in the confines of prison but in a very funny way.

The set, the lighting, the costumes, as well as the direction are all great in this production at the 13th Street Repertory Theater. Everything blends nicely. From the very beginning of the show, we are treated to a film of what TV looked like back in the 50s and 60s. The audience watches women’s wrestling, very apropos to the play we are about to see. After the first wrestling match, we see the many commercials of that era, from Maxwell House Coffee, Coca Cola and on to air conditioners.

Allison Hohman’s lighting is set to the romantic side. It gives the audience an edgy feel to this even paced play. Hohman’s lighting is the backbeat to this play. She sets the tone with her deft lighting sequences. The 13th Street Theater makes us feel like we are watching this from our family room. Hohman gives us this intimate feeling.

Equally brilliant are the costumes by Everett Clark. From the fishnet stockings to the lab coats, Clark keeps the performance interesting with some great comedic costuming. From the traditional prison garb to the eight-inch platform shoes, Clark is raucous with his outlandish costumes.

Director Joe Battista did a masterful job in putting on such an entertaining show. Last season, Battista directed another winner Before We’re Gone. In Women Behind Bars, all the actors’ movements and comedic timing were effortless and fluid. From Janel Koloski, the ditzy prostitute to Meridith Nicholaev, as Ada, this cast delivers an outstanding performance. Every actor was terrific and it goes to say that Joe Battista kept all the actors in a tight range with a no holes barred staging.

Women Behind Bars is a great spoof comedy. Like Little Shop of Horrors, this play makes great fun of the situation and its characters. Guadalupe (Marlene Villafane), rapid-fire tirades in Spanish left the audience in stitches. Often ready to do battle with just about anyone, she would then turn on a dime as a passive, reasonable person which made her many scenes thoroughly entertaining.

The women are continuously at odds with each other, Granny (Mary Tierney), is a bible thumper, a bigoted individual who hates just about, Gloria (Amy Stillar) for being a lesbian, Guadalupe for being Puerto Rican and Blanche (Jena Mroz), being white trash. Jo-Jo (Erika Degraff), is also not immune from Granny’s insults. A tough woman from the inner city, she gives it right back to this lifer who comically borders on insanity. Always understated, Granny hits hard at both Matron and her flunky, Louise, played by the very talented Andy Crosten. Daniel Yaiullo had various roles and was a standout the entire evening.

Women Behind Bars plays till the beginning of April and should not be missed. The staging on such a small space is well done and brilliantly managed. Perhaps the best part of the evening was the hilarious shower scene. Both exotic and creative, we watch the women shower from beyond a curtain, feeling like voyeurs, these women are a silhouette to us as we watch their antics.

Women Behind Bars has had a great following over the years and has performed in off-Broadway theaters since 1976. It has a cult-like following much like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Women is as funny today, thanks to this cast and direction as it has ever been.


Love what you read?
Support the writer with a small one-off tip.
Send a $1 Tip
How does it work?
Powered by Stripe
Read next: ‘Bringing Up Baby’ Review
robert massimi
robert massimi
I have been writing on theater since 1982. A graduate from Manhattan College B.S. A member of Alpha Sigma Lambda, which recognizes excellence in both English and Science. I have produced 12 shows on and off Broadway. I’ve seen over700 shows

All posts by robert →
Spider-Man Vs The Vulture: Everything You Need to Know About Their Greatest Battles Before ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

Max Farrow
a year ago in SUPERHEROES
“You fool! Here in the sky we’re in my element! I’ll shake you off — and be rid of you for good!” So says the Vulture in his first encounter with the Amazing Spider-Man way back in the May of 1963. Pl…

DCEU Films: Worst to Best

Cronan Parry
a year ago in LIST
There have been four films leading up to Justice League, and they’ve caused quite a stir from fans and critics alike. I’ll let you know now so you can opt out of this early. I’m not much of a fan of t…

Movie Review: ‘Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House’

Sean Patrick
a year ago in MOVIE
It baffles me that any filmmaker could screw up making a movie about Mark Felt. How is it possible to fumble a subject so timely, important, historic, and filled with all of the great cinematic trappi…

Mad Love: Celebrating 25 Loony Years of Harley Quinn with 5 Pieces of Fantabulous Fan Art

Paco Taylor
a year ago in COMICS
In case you somehow missed it, September 2017 marked the 25th anniversary (or birthday) of the DC Comics character Harley Quinn. It’s actually kinda bonkers that two and half decades have gone by sinc…

Once Upon A Time Episode Six

Jessica L
a year ago in TV
Twisted vines curl, bend and overlap while growing side by side. The plot lines and stories on Once Upon A Time are a lot like vines which twist and climb along the walls. The show has aired for six f…

Cuz’ He Ate His Spinach: Was Popeye Actually the First Comic Book Superhero?

Paco Taylor
a year ago in SUPERHEROES
Move along, Mandrake! Stand aside, Superman! Those other comic book experts have had it all wrong all along. That gravel-voiced, pipe-smoking Popeye the Sailorman is the first comic book superhero. Th…

ExploreContactPrivacy PolicyTerms of UseSupport

Powered by Vocal © 2019 Jerrick Ventures LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Author: nobullwithragingrobert

Was a drama critic at Manhattan College. Wrote professionally for Bergen News, Sun Bulletin . Alpha Sigma Lambda, Beta Theta. Has seen over 600 shows worldwide, has published both on Theater and Politics. Avid reader on many subjects and writers. Chief Drama critic for Metropolitan magazine. Writes for Jerrick media, American conservative, The City Journal and Reason magazine. Has produced shows both on and off Broadway.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s