Feature

Girls Talk

Roger Kumble's new comedy sports some witty and savage banter among 40-something year old Bel Air society supermoms.

Lee Strasberg TheatreWest Hollywood, Calif., (310) 776-0091

**It’s hard to overstate how fun it is to see L.A. society moms sharply skewered, said Margaret Gray in the Los Angeles Times. In this new Roger Kumble comedy, the banter among four 40-something Bel Air women, each savagely determined to outdo the others’ gilded parenting credentials, “bristles” with of-the-moment references and vicious wit. Brooke Shields stars as a former screenwriter now devoting her days to “scheduling playdates, pumping breast milk,” and belittling her Latina nanny. A former writing partner is dangling a plum job offer, but the child-rearing culture in this supermom’s exclusive circle makes it hard for her to accept. Shields’s predicament is “intentionally ridiculous”: “It’s like Sophie’s Choice!” wails one pal. But Kumble also invests the dilemma “with the suspense of a thriller.”

Not everyone will relate, said Les Spindle in Backstage. “Those who can pick up on the humor of insider industry-town gags, showbiz name-dropping,” and L.A.-specific references should be well entertained, but the humor of Girls Talk may be just a little too “esoteric.” That said, the performers may be the play’s saving grace. Shields “fields punch lines, double takes, and subtle put-downs” with great agility, and Andréa Bendewald, as her judgmental friend and celebrity mommy-blogger, “slings bitchy invective with glee.” While the skills of the actors help turn all their one-liners into a satisfying evening of “Nick-at-Nite frothiness,” one can’t help imagining what might have been had this rich-mommy farce delivered “a bit more story and/or a bit more substance.”

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