Midnight margaritas, girl talk, meet cutes, makeover montages, best friends sassy, sarcastic, or silly—we all know the tropes of the chick flick. And odds are, we love them for being comfortable excursions from the drudgery of daily life. So what better way to celebrate the power of female friendship than with that other great escape—musicals?
That’s where Suzy Conn’s Chick Flick comes in.
Directed by David Ruttura and currently playing at the Westside Theatre through Saturday, March 16, Chick Flick finds four friends—played by Sharon Catherine Brown, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Carla Duren, and Megan Sikora—gathered together for wine and movies. But over the course of the evening, they all stop hiding from their problems and confront them, in true cinematic, you-go-girl style.
“I really wanted to write a show with just women about female friendship, to highlight and celebrate the importance of it,” Conn says. “It’s the thing that gets you through the grind of everyday life. And chick flicks have always been a huge part of my life. Wouldn’t that be a neat way to color the women’s friendship? That would be a great framing device.”
In the show, Conn’s characters play a version of the game she and her own family play—albeit with considerably more drinking. Every time someone uses a quote from a movie in conversation, whoever guesses it takes a drink, a shot, a sip. So integral to the show is this game that it even has its own raucous, crowd-pleasing musical number to introduce the rules (and give the audience some of our favorite soundbites) before the ladies continue to play throughout the show.
Conn didn’t retrofit the song or the story to squeeze in some of the most memorable lines from the last 30 years. “As I was writing the song, it was surprisingly easy to find quotes to fit real moments,” Conn says. “Those are the moments that ring true to us in the movies.”
Even as Conn celebrates the power of female friendship, she’s also celebrating the power of these movies.
“There’s always this sort of negative halo around them, ‘those are guilty pleasures and not serious films,’” Conn says. “They’ve got wonderful themes of love and romance and there’s nothing wrong with that. They’ve become a real part of our lives. And for me, chick flicks are all about hope. There’s a fantasy element to them, but it’s the hope that keeps me coming back to these. It’s this wonderful injection of hope and the ability to be emotional.”
She pauses. “This is not something we watch in the shadows, to be dramatic about it,” she adds with a laugh.