Ahead of the Off-Broadway return of Lisa Lampanelli’s Stuffed, the comedy favorite and her castmates offered the press a taste of what’s in store at the comedian hotspot the Friars Club. Take a look above as she, Hairspray alum Nikki Blonsky, Eden Malyn, and Marsha Stephanie Blake discuss bringing humor and heart to conversations about body image.
“This thing happened where I noticed anytime I got together with four friends or more, the conversation goes to food,” explained Lampanelli, who wrote the play over multiple years of development. “I’ve gone through literally over 30 years of struggle with weight and food and body image…and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. This is going to resonate with every single woman.’”
Blake added, “The idea of women now being constantly policed—their bodies, health issues, what they need in life, how much they get paid—it’s important for us to take control of that conversation.”
Malyn echoed this sentiment: “A lot of men aren’t aware of the way women feel about their weight and how judged we feel all the time—stared at. It’s important that people actually understand the pressure that women are under.”
The play, which premiered at Women’s Project Theater last year following a staged reading at Bay Street Theater, follows four women facing varied issues and attitudes concerning body image. Only one, who also happens to be overweight, presents herself as fully confident in her skin. Blonsky takes on this role in the new incarnation.
“She’s so passionate,” Blonsky told Playbill. “She’s just a character who loves herself.” Blonsky embodied a similar disposition in her signature role: Tracy Turnblad in the 2007 film adaptation of Hairspray. With her first fully staged New York theatre production approaching, she’s looking forward to showcasing her talents onstage: “Everyone knows me from that one hour and 45 minutes of singing and dancing and fun. It’s a lot to live up to!”
Stuffed, directed by Jackson Gay, begins performances October 5 at the Westside Theatre, where it will open officially October 19.