“Women in Jeopardy” is a comedy about two divorced women who suspect their friend’s new boyfriend is a serial killer. From left, Melanie Calderwood is Jo, Bruce Erickson plays Jackson, BriAnne Green is Liz and Susan Connors plays Mary. (Rick Wright)

“Women in Jeopardy” is a comedy about two divorced women who suspect their friend’s new boyfriend is a serial killer. From left, Melanie Calderwood is Jo, Bruce Erickson plays Jackson, BriAnne Green is Liz and Susan Connors plays Mary. (Rick Wright)

Dark-sounding ‘Women in Jeopardy’ lights up stage with laughs

In the Phoenix Theatre show, two divorced women try to protect their friend from a creepy dentist.

Is it jealousy that makes divorcees Mary and Jo suspicious of their best friend’s new boyfriend?

Or could he actually be a serial killer?

His creepy ski mask, disturbing jokes and fondness for the 1991 thriller “The Silence of the Lambs” strongly suggests that might be the case.

But Mary and Jo — who are better suited for fun runs and book clubs than investigating potential murderers — won’t know for sure until they do some digging of their own in “Women in Jeopardy,” which opens May 24 at Phoenix Theatre in Edmonds.

The 2015 play may sound like it has an ominous premise, but it’s a comedy. Think of it as a mash-up of “Thelma and Louise” and “The First Wives Club.”

Many of the laughs come from the friends’ snappy conversations, as Mary (Susan Connors) and Jo (Melanie Calderwood) try to break their friend Liz (BriAnne Green) from her love spell.

“The dialogue is so crisp and so fast, it’s just really funny,” said Rick Wright, the play’s director. “It just comes at you like a machine gun and it’s right out of the gate.”

Liz’s new boyfriend, a dentist named Jackson (Bruce Erickson), is creepy from the get-go when he makes a surprise appearance at Chardonnay Tuesday, the women’s weekly wine night.

Liz makes excuses that her love interest is just socially awkward, but things get weird when he casually mentions that one of his hygienists was abducted from a parking lot.

“He says, ‘Well, I have other hygienists,’” Calderwood said. “It’s like, ‘What?!’ He’s so deadpan and so off the wall, and we are so hyper-offended by it.”

When Mary and Jo find out Jackson is taking Liz’s 19-year-old daughter, Amanda (Marijke Boers), on a camping trip alone, they swing into action.

The women enlist the help of an investigator named Sgt. Kirk Sponsüllar — who shares an uncanny resemblance to Jackson (and also is played by Erickson) — and Amanda’s dimwitted boyfriend, Trenner (James Lynch).

But will they rescue Amanda in time? Or are Mary and Jo’s suspicions unwarranted?

Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, ethompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.

If you go

Phoenix Theatre’s production of “Women in Jeopardy” stages from May 24 to June 16. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

The theater is at 9673 Firdale Ave., Edmonds. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, students and the military. The theater invites cancer patients and survivors to attend the show for free. For more information, call 206-533-2000 or go to www.tptedmonds.org.

Talk to us

More in Life

Steve Smith gift ideas for gardeners
Ten gift ideas for gardeners

From puzzles to pruners, how to pick the perfect present for the green thumbs on your list.

Jeff Barnett, owner of Salish Sea-Boathouse during the soft opening in Edmonds on November 24, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Salish Sea sets sail at second location in Edmonds

In honor of the nearby waterfront, The Boathouse has a decidedly nautical feel — and it’s more of a taproom and brewhouse than its sibling brewpub up the street.

Seven gift ideas for weathering the holiday season

Smart thermostats and portable power will be thoughtful presents — especially when energy bills and power outages hit.

Photo Caption: Francois-Xavier Lalanne often used animal motifs in his modern, minimalist sculptures. His porcelain eggcup with a chicken's head, wings and tail sold for $2,080 at Palm Beach Modern Auctions.

(c) 2021 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
‘Pocillovy’ is the obscure hobby of collecting eggcups

It stems from Victorian times, when nearly every type of food had its own specialized dish and utensils.

Orangebark Stewartia, Stewartia monadelpha,
Great Plant Pick: Orangebark Stewartia

This tree’s stunning bark is shown to perfection when it’s planted with a backdrop of evergreens.

Clockwise from top left: Trinity Yun, Ryan Chung, Carson Chadd and John Meneses.
Orchestra returns with four outstanding young musicians

Pacifica Chamber Orchestra’s first in-person concert since before the pandemic will feature winners of the 2020 Snohomish County Music Teachers Association Competition.

Edmonds’ Gothard Sisters will perform their annual Celtic Christmas Concert at 7:30 tonight at Edmonds Center for the Arts.
Events calendar for Snohomish County

Edmonds’ Gothard Sisters will perform their annual Christmas concert on Dec. 2.

Daphne Patakia, left, and Virginie Efira in "Benedetta." (Courtesy of IFC Films/TNS)
‘Benedetta’ an unruly, sexually frank tale of Renaissance nun

Paul Verhoeven’s film has drawn protests from Catholics, which means he’s definitely doing something right.

George MacKay in "Wolf." MUST CREDIT: Focus Features
‘Wolf,’ a film about identity issues, is an unintentional howler

This misguided movie goes off the rails immediately and stays there throughout its running time.

Most Read