Life is serious business, a lesson learned through hard-fought experience. However, failed marriages and clumsy aging are not to be taken in earnest, according to Eugene comedians Leigh Anne Jasheway and Melody Gore Dodd.
In “Six Husbands No Estrogen,” their first-ever standup-musical-improv comedy show together, Jasheway and Dodd, the dynamic duo of menopause, shed a little light (and layers) on the trials and chuckles of relationships, friendships and synchronized hot flashes.
“We might be part of the reason for any kind of local climate change,” Dodd jokes.
Jasheway — a well-known local humorist and motivational speaker, emissary of unintentional slapstick, former radio show host, established author and journalist, animal lover and 2007 slug queen as the vibrantly ventilated, Glorious Gastropause — is a 26-year veteran of comedy. It’s a sharp turn away from her former life as the director of wellness programing for the University of Texas, a title as long as the list of her accomplishments.
Dodd — a Navy veteran, retired communications liaison for the Eugene Police Department’s call center, former employee of Royal Caribbean and Ride Share, self-proclaimed Diz-nerd, Thrill the World dancer, cultural mutt, world’s worst high school chaperone and dedicated patron of the alliance for sober drunks who forgot how to have fun — is a treasure trove of quick witted comedy that is inherent to her youthful class clown spirit.
On a journey of comedic exploration, Dodd enrolled in a standup comedy class at Lane Community College that Jasheway has taught for more than 20 years. Both military brats and thrice divorced, the two women quickly established a friendship through their shared experience and instinct for humor.
“Her approach is so inclusive and participatory,” Dodd says of Jasheway. “Right away she started inviting me to shows.”
“Hey, I know talent when I see it,” Jasheway replies.
The inspiration for their collaboration came when Jasheway wanted a partner for her previously performed one-woman comedy show, “Me Too: The musical.” Dodd, who had then hosted the Northwest Comedy Festival and who was quickly raising in the local comedy scene, was a natural companion for Jasheway.
Surprisingly absent of political commentary, the two bonded through laughter and a sprinkle of narcissism to focus on the personal, as with their marital failures.
“It’s a kind of manipulations of peoples’ emotions, and having not been able to do that with three husbands, it’s nice to do it with strangers,” Jasheway says.
“It’s like a really wholesome revenge,” Dodd adds.
The women take turns poking fun and celebrating their oddities. Dodd, who plays a large part in the musical anatomy of the show, derived the lyrics from their colorful track record with men, including a terrorist takeover during Dodd’s first marriage and a first date for Jasheway that ended with a Jeep in a tree and a five-hour hike.
“We have the shared ability to overlook red flags,” Dodd says.
But fear not, men, the show is not a declaration of male hatred, or anything remotely sinister for that matter. Though you can probably expect a slight nod at innuendo, the evening will be a family affair, one that aims to connect through laughter, colorful expression and high-octane air conditioning.
You can check out Eugene’s hilarious heroines of humor 7 pm Friday, May 24, at Springfield’s Wildish Theatre. Partial proceeds will go to ShelterCare, a homelessness initiative; tickets $25, visit wildishtheare.com.