RED BANK: THE GIRLS ARE BACK IN TOWN

Girls NightThe hit jukebox musical GIRLS NIGHT returns to the Count Basie stage for a Thursday night to remember.

It’s a jukebox musical that’s been called “as funny and outrageous as Sex and the City” and described as “Desperate Housewives meets Mamma Mia.” Adapted by Louise Roche from a hit British production, Girls Night: The Musical centers around five longtime friends who step out for a night at a karaoke bar. It also packs a not-so-secret weapon: a score of instantly familiar, crowd-pleasing pop hits of the 1970s and ’80s.

A favorite of local audiences in its previous touring incarnations, the Off Broadway smash returns to the grand stage of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre for a single 8 pm performance this Thursday, July 23.

A cast of professional “triple threat” players brings to life the show’s posse of 30- and 40-something women whose journeys have taken them from high school to all walks of life, and then some. There’s party-girl Carol; her dull, dependable “designated driver” sister Kate; brutally honest Anita; neurotic and unhappy Liza – plus Sharon, who’s not about to let a little thing like death break up this circle of BFFs.

Then there’s the singalong-friendly score; a set of radio/dancefloor classics with the accent on female empowerment, friends-forever camaraderie, and fun times in the face of adversity. The list includes such instantly resonant numbers as Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family,” Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” the Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men,” and Gloria Gaynor’s anthem-for-the-ages “I Will Survive.” It’s an “awesome mixtape” that just might call up personal thoughts of good times past, plans for the future, and how some friendships are simply built to last through all that life throws our way.

Take it here to reserve tickets ($29.50 – $49.50).