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More Chicago Comedy in New York: "Refugee Girls" at Fringe

PhotobucketJena Friedman's Refugee Girls musical parody is off to a good start in New York, having debuted at the New York Fringe Festival. The show got several strong reviews, who call the cast "fearless and funny women." Friedman's cast includes Lauren Van Kurin, Kate Lane, Teresa Spizzirri, Missi Davis, Fawzia Mirza, Marie Denny, Tiffany Puterbaugh (for the Lakeshore run), Ruth Gamble, Jasmine McNeeley, Cara Hawthorne, Lauren Maul, and Dave Hill.

Jena tells the Bastion: "I came up with the idea for Refugee Girls after reading a story in the Chicago Tribune on the backlash to the new American Girl doll, whose controversial 'backstory' (where she 'fled her dangerous neighborhood of Pilsen and moved to Downers Grove') offended the local Pilsen community... at the time I was writing for a political sketch show and decided to push that idea further. The show's initial run (June-Aug 2007) kind of functioned like a workshop, and in the second run, we brought on an outside director, Scott Illingworth, who helped focus the tone of the show. We also revised the show's ending and much of the choreography to further heighten that tone."

Getting a cast of 12 actors from Chicago to New York proved a challenge but all agree they had a great run at Fringe and Jena is hoping to find future stages for her show.

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