From childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Denver Center show uses comedy to explore what it’s like to grow up a girl

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2min 13sec
Courtesy Terry Shapiro/DCPA
Barbara Gehring, left, and Linda Klein rehearse for their show “The Secret Comedy of Women — Girls Only” ahead of their show’s opening at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

The transition from adolescence to adulthood can be rough. The Secret Comedy Of Women – Girls Only at the Denver Center looks at its ups and downs for girls and women — using comedy. 

Co-creators and co-stars Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein began the show at Denver’s Avenue Theater as a one-night-only performance. Now, 15 years later, they’re returning to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Garner Galleria, the place that elevated their show into the phenomenon it has become. 

“It's a hundred percent about the women who are in the audience, or the people in the audience,” Klein said. “And it's also, it's like their show and it's a hundred percent like they co-create it with us.”

In the tradition of Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, the two women take the audience through the tumultuous time of growing up as a girl, from coming of age to the challenges of womanhood, all set in a replica of their childhood bedrooms. But the show’s path forward wasn’t always so clear. Then it caught someone’s eye — former Denver Center CEO Randy Weeks, who died in 2014.

Gehring recalls that when Weeks found out about the show and that other producers wanted it, he came to see it for himself. 

“Here's the CEO of the Denver Center in the light booth watching the show, texting a scenic designer about what is coming down the road for the Denver Center. And she goes, ‘Where are you?’ ‘I'm in the audience,’” Gehring said. “And …  it was the best memory of Randy up there in the booth — the first guy to ever watch our show.”

Courtesy DCPA
Barbara Gehring, left, and Linda Klein rehearse for their show "The Secret Comedy of Women — Girls Only" ahead of their show's opening at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

During this run, the show has a special “Galentines” event to support the American Heart Association. Barbara Gehring’s daughter Isabella, a Legacy High School junior joins in. Isabelle is an American Heart Association Teen of Impact

Isabella Gehring said the event hosted by her mom and Klein — who is also her godmother — holds a special place in her own heart. 

“There's a lot of family ties here. It's a very nostalgic show for me, and it's an amazing show. It's been seen by over a quarter million women throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

After the special show, attendees can stay for a talkback with Klein and Barbara Gehring. 

"It's just gonna be this really fun night where people get to see the show, they get to be around all these people with similar interests, and have fun together,” Isabella Gehring said. “And it goes towards a really, really great cause.” 

Tickets for the special February 15th benefit performance are only available through Barbara Gehring at [email protected]. The Secret Comedy of Women plays the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Galleria Theatre through March 5.