Wish you’d been able to hang with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey back when they were broke 20-something improv nerds? You can do just that at Under St. Marks next week. Sort of.
Maria Gilhooley and Antonia Lassar will channel their inner Fey and Poehler, respectively, onstage for five nights during the upcoming NYC Frigid Festival. Along with director Nikki DiLoreto, these three Boston University School of Theatre alumnae wrote an hour-long play about a formative night in the friendship of the future Golden Globes hostesses. So what if it never actually happened?
The setting is Chicago in 1997, the eve of Fey’s departure to write for Saturday Night Live in NYC. Poehler is in denial that her roommate/best bud is leaving her behind. (In reality, Poehler moved to New York first — in 1996, to perform with the Upright Citizens Brigade — and she and Fey were never roommates, though Lassar would like them to be. “If anything, we hope to encourage them to live together,” she said.)
Tina & Amy: Last Night in Paradise is “not necessarily supposed to be a biopic,” DiLorento clarified. In fact, the actresses won’t even be in wigs. There’ll be a joke about why Poehler is a redhead, and you can expect to see her jealous side as well. “It’s two friends dealing with professional careers pulling them apart,” DiLoreto said.
Meanwhile, this is the first show that Gilhooley, Lassar and DiLoreto are staging as Six Tee Collective (the name is a funny, feminist nod to the six capital-t Tits they have between them). As they look forward to producing more “lady theater with ladies” and showing that “women’s stories are universal just like men’s stories,” they hope to have the sort of real-life bond Fey and Poehler have. “Their friendship seems so beautiful and not affected by petty and professional jealousies,” said Lassar.
They make a good point: Fey and Poehler are so often juxtaposed (subtle vs. outrageous, writer vs. actor, sardonic vs. scrappy, brunette vs. blonde) that the comedians could have easily become competitors (as Weekend Update co-anchors, Vanity Fair cover girls, stars on consecutively-airing NBC sitcoms). But instead, they’ve always followed the tenants of improv: teamwork, agreement, and helping your scene partner succeed.
“They are either insane together or sane together,” said Lassar. “Their humor together is always them against the world.”
Tina & Amy: Last Night in Paradise, Feb. 20 and 22, March 1, 7, 8 at Under St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Place; $10-$16