By Angie Bado, TSB Publisher
If “laughter is the best medicine,” as we’ve always been told, then the women who make up Four Funny Females should be totally exempt from dealing with this season’s flu bug. Better yet, their audiences will receive a hefty does of the same medicine when the foursome kick off the new year’s productions at the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC) this Saturday night.
Founder of the comedy quartet Laura Bartlett, who hails from McKinney, describes the performance as “a group of funny, likeable, hilariously funny women, who are friends on and off stage.” She and her fellow funny females, Sherry Belle, Jodi Hadsell, and Linda Stogner, are all successful professional women – a filmmaker, banker, IT professional, and marketing exec by day. They have families and lead very busy lives. But the four women love to get together as often as possible to perform.
“A lot of people don’t have a clue about what to expect (from our show), Bartlett said. “We have a chemistry – there is a magic with the four of us. I think there is something extremely relatable about us. We’re just like them (the audience) and see make our personal experiences funny.”
What the show isn’t – an evening of male bashing, clarified Bartlett. “Many people think that is what we are about, but not all of our jokes are about men; most are about life.”
Coming off a year of selling out their performances at MPAC, Four Funny Females, has been given the nod as the “Fastest Rising Franchise” by Theater Jones, which said, “Women who won’t go to clubs, no matter how nice they are, flock to these shows, taking their men friends with them.”
It’s been quite the journey from Bartlett’s first show, at the Backstage Coffee Company, which was located in the Ritz Theater building in downtown McKinney, in 2006. Bartlett confesses laughingly, that the journey from that first show to the recognition Four Funny has received recently has taken “a lot of baby steps and hard work,” adding that there is “no instruction book” on how to be successful women in comedy.
Bartlett is also proud that Four Funny Females has garnered national and regional press including: Reuters, The New York Times, D Magazine, Texas Monthly, Dallas Observer and The Dallas Morning News. Bartlett was also profiled in a story about people who follow their dreams in Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
What does the recognition mean for Four Funny Females? “It gives the illusion that we are capable of making money,” Bartlett explains with a laugh. “I feel like we are successful because we continue to get people to come (to our shows) and bring others back with them.”
Bartlett said that she loves performing in McKinney and producing the show is, for her, “a labor of love.”
“I would like to take us on the road, but the reality is that we all have priorities – successful careers and families – and I love performing in McKinney. It’s expensive to go on the road, so we would need a sponsor. So far, we haven’t been able to get one,” Bartlett said.
Somehow, I get the impression that if Bartlett keeps at it, bigger success for Four Funny Females is just around the corner.
Four Funny Females perform at McKinney Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, and Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Purchase tickets online, or contact the box office at 214-544-4630.
Top Photo: Laura Bartlett
Photos courtesy of Laura Bartlett