The Hamazons, the incarnation of an ancient tribe of female warriors, make battle with their sharp wit and lethal laughter.
"While the Amazon women were on horseback fighting with bows and knives, their sister tribe, the Hamazons, fought off their enemies with jokes," says Hamazon Cil Stengel.
Other Hamazons are Kyndra Laughery, Carolyn Myers and Eve Smyth.
The clever band of feisty females will present a holiday improvisational show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, and 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at The DanceSpace, 280 Hersey, Suite 10, Ashland.
The comedy troupe, formed in 1999, emerged from a group of local women who met together for improvisational fun and games. Stengel and Meyers were among the founding members. Laughery joined in 2005 and Smyth in 2003.
"Humor is something we all love, and we're all pretty funny people," says Stengel.
While improv comprises the bulk of a show, the group structures its shows around a series of games. In one of these games, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," an audience member asks a question, and each Hamazon will offer advice according to the following categories: good, bad and ugly.
Questions have included:
- "What is this fascination with tofu?"
- "What do I do about an ailing father who confuses his daughter for his wife?"
- "How can my ex-spouse and I remain friendly in front of our children?"
"Some of the good advice is straightforward but almost too good," says Stengel. "Some of the bad advice is something you wish you could do but is not socially acceptable; and then the ugly advice is completely off the wall."
According to the Hamazon creed, the women practice "humor at no one's expense," says Stengel.
"If one person is the butt of the joke, it's not funny," she says. "Everybody needs to be laughing."
Furthermore, the group avoids profanity and obscene humor.
"We avoid things that are sexually graphic," says Stengel. "Although it's fun to walk that line without going over it."
When it comes to apparel, the Hamazons have a flair for the theatrical. Whether it's big jewelry, sparkles, poofs or feather boas, the Hamazons' unwritten code is: "It's never too much."
They also have been known to adorn themselves in tribal wear, bones and fur — as is the Hamazon way.
"Ham is glam," says Stengel. "There is a permission and at times an expectation to express yourself in fashion, in wild, big and funny ways."
The Hamazons invite the audience to do the same.
Tickets to the show are $15 in advance; $17 at the door and are available at Heart & Hands in Ashland and Bad Ass Coffee in Medford. For more information, call 541-776-0643 or see www.hamazons.com.