Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History: A Celebration of Powerful Women Through Song

THE BASICS: WELL-BEHAVED WOMEN runs Jun 7 – June 16, Fri & Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m. at the MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main Street, Suite 123 Amherst, NY 14226 (716) 839-8540. Click here for tickets.

RUNTIME: 75 minutes, no intermission 

THUMBNAIL SKETCH: You likely know the saying “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” This cabaret musical is a tribute to 20 of the world’s most famous female “misbehavers,” and the history they made. With clever lyrics throughout the show, you will be sure to be laughing, dancing, and feeling heartened throughout, but you may also learn a thing or two about women you already knew, or learn about someone brand new to you.


Powerful. That is the word I would use to describe all the women on the stage (including the talented and fashionable pianist Theresa Quinn) as well as the women they are representing and telling the stories of through song. Starring Leah Berst, Sam Crystal, Timiyah Love, and Brittney Leigh Morton.

We’re first introduced to a sassy Eve, yes the one from the story with Adam, who she sings about how maybe her eating the apple is why God decided women would face more hardships than men, and she offers her apologies.

Sam Crystal as Boudicca

Most of the women featured in this show are people I know about or have at least heard of, but I still learned a lot of new things about them as well as learning about some other iconic women I somehow didn’t already know of. Some of the songs were emotional and moving, but many were comical and clever with their lyrics. 

Everyone seemed to be having fun with the song about Eleanor Roosevelt, “Ladies of the Press,” performed by Leah Berst, as well as the one about Billie Jean King “Hey, Bobby Rigs,” performed by Brittney Leigh Morton. The song about Frida Kahlo, “Yo Simplemente Soy,” or “I simply am,” was sung confidently and beautifully by Sam Crystal, giving a very moving performance.

Leah Berst as Eleanor Roosevelt

Another emotional performance was about Janet Armstrong and the sacrifices she made for her husband Neil Armstrong, to be the first man on the moon. It was sad to learn for the first time that they had lost a young child and the toll that it took on her and her family, but it was still a beautiful and moving song. 

But my personal favorite song was about Cleopatra: the female rage and passion conveyed by Timiyah Love made for a soulful song with powerhouse ending. I just wish Love’s mic was a little higher to truly showcase her delicate yet powerful voice. Love also beautifully represented Malala Yousafzai and Harriet Tubman: two women’s stories that carry a lot of weight and importance.

Timiyah Love as Malala Yousafzai

I also thought there were clever lyrics in the song “If Shakespeare Had A Sister” which was based on an excerpt by Virginia Woolf, the pioneer of the “stream of consciousness” writing style, and this lengthy song seems to be an ode to that.  

The musical takes a couple of historical liberties like the tender story of Hua Li, mother of Mulan, whom scholars generally believe to be a fictional character, as well as giving Mary Magdalene a country accent, which was unexpectedly enjoyable and hilarious.

A couple of songs felt on the cheesier side to me such as “The Water is Where,” a duet about Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie as well as “Order In The Court” about justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, BUT, I did LOVE the shoutout to Ketanji Brown Jackson, and the beautiful harmonies by the performers in both of these songs. And when they sang the lyrics “we need more women in law,” the crowd went wild clapping, cheering, and dancing for the rest of the song.

Order in the Court – Brittney Leigh Morton, Leah Berst, Timiyah Love, Sam Crystal

The show ends with an inspiring song called “We Rise,” leaving the audience with a feeling of hope that we’ve come a long way but that there’s still much more work to do for society to reach true equality. 

Brittney Leigh Morton as Sandra Day O’Connor

Roam over to the MusicalFare Theatre for an enjoyable and casual evening at the theater, and surprise yourself with what you may or may not already know about these iconic women throughout history.

Photos by Chris Cavanagh and Doug Weyand  


FIVE BUFFALO: Universal Appeal! This production is pure theatrical magic – a crowd-pleaser. No prior theatre experience is necessary. Whether it’s a laugh-out-loud comedy or a heartwarming drama, this show offers an unforgettable shared experience. You’ll laugh, be touched, or amazed (depending on the genre). Grab your tickets before they disappear!

FOUR BUFFALO: Highly Recommended! This production delivers high-quality entertainment. It may have a strong script and stellar performances. While it might not be for everyone, theatre fans and those interested in the style, themes, or genre are sure to be delighted. Gather your friends or grab a date – you won’t be disappointed you went!

THREE BUFFALO: A Solid Night Out! This solid production and enjoyable evening at the theater. It’s a strong choice for a night out. Roam over and check it out if you can!

TWO BUFFALO: Intriguing! This production may not appeal to all tastes. However, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to blaze your own theatrical trail, this production offers a unique experience. While it may have some minor imperfections, if the genre, themes, and style align with your interests you should defintely attend!

ONE BUFFALO: If you love Theatre…Although it won’t resonate with everyone, it offers a challenging and stimulating experience. Traditional theatergoers might find it difficult to follow. While it will undoubtedly spark conversation, consider the genre, themes, and style before attending.

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