Words: Caitlin Finnerty
The Retreat offers a satirical take on corporate culture, presenting itself as a campy variety show cantered around the fictional company Men-ses Period Panties. Hosted by Rebekka Johnson and Anne Gregory, the show pokes fun at corporate jargon, toxic positivity, and team-building clichés prevalent in the business world.
From the outset, the duo greets the audience with girl boss affirmations and high fives, setting the tone for the evening. Johnson and Gregory portray the She-E-Os of Men-ses, complete with the stereotypical attire of pencil skirts and sneakers. The show’s structure mimics a corporate retreat, positioning the audience as staff members subjected to a barrage of unconventional activities.
The show’s structure showcases a trio of guest speakers. On this night, Sarah Schafer, Troll, and Liz Toonkel, all of whom boast solo fringe performances, join the fray.
What distinguishes Johnson and Gregory is their unapologetic lack of shame. Amid technical glitches that pepper the performance, their composure remains unshaken. Dance interludes, featuring catchy tunes like “It’s Raining Men-ses,” “WAP,” and “Who Run the World (Girls),” infuse the show with vibrant energy.
The show somewhat falters in its wrap-up, leaving an opportunity for a more polished conclusion. Nevertheless, The Retreat remains an hour of laughs that nails both period undies stereotypes and corporate values.
Underbelly Cowgate, Big Belly