Ladies on the Couch: Off the Couch and on the Road, Live Bait Theatre.

When Kari Finn and Susan Howard met several years ago in an improv class, they connected immediately and decided to collaborate on a two-woman comedy show with music, Ladies on the Couch. Encouraged by the positive feedback, the “Ladies” then decided to quit their day jobs and take the show on tour. Their new show, Ladies on the Couch: Off the Couch and on the Road, reveals through songs, improv, and sketches how the cross-section of America they met reacted to two openly lesbian comedians.

Sharp improvisers and skilled writers, the Ladies really shine when they pick up their guitars and sing. And Howard’s quirky, high-strung persona plays well off Finn’s earnest, steadfast energy. With only a couch, a map, and a few relics from the tour, the Ladies re-create their life together on the road and some of the more colorful people they discovered at coffeehouses, on college campuses, and at “womynfests.” With self-effacing intelligence they play “April and June,” an ultra-PC couple who count as sins buying products that support oppressive governments and not recycling. They bring out the humor in such sensitive issues as same-sex parenting–Finn wants to save for a college-and-therapy fund, while Howard worries that one mother is more than enough for any child.

In this hour-long epic, the Ladies offer insight into an America quite different from the one Jack Kerouac found on his road. Graceful and straightforward, they make us laugh even when describing the right-wing fanatics who picketed them at the University of Kansas–and when describing how Finn confused directions, Howard miscalculated finances, and each of them struggled not to kill her companion.