No one in the sketch comedy group Three Busy Debras is actually named Debra. None of them are famous beyond a small cult following in New York. One of them isn't even old enough to buy booze yet. So how did these three young women book one of the most famous performance venues in the world, a space some musicians spend their entire careers hoping to play: Carnegie Hall?
These are the Three Busy Debras, whose voices and vacant stares are like something out of a scrapped "Twilight Zone" episode.
Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari, and Alyssa Stonoha, who have all trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade improv and sketch theater in New York, first started performing together in early 2015. Their Debra characters—born out of an improv scene in which three Debras have brunch—are surreal, out of touch, rich women (who are all very busy, of course), with a penchant for violence.
"You can't read a book if you're wearing a miniskirt." — Alyssa Stonoha
The comedians staged the original iteration of their play, Three Busy Debras, at various small venues (a lot of bar basements) around the city last year. But, Stonoha says, "Earlier this year we wanted to do that play one more time, and we couldn't find any open slots anywhere. I said, 'It'd be easier to do it at Carnegie Hall.' And the next day I was like, 'I don't know, can you?' And, yeah, you can just rent it."
Three Busy Debras play Would You Rather. Question: Would you rather only be able to wear Jnco jeans or a miniskirt for the rest of your life?
"We thought, if everyone we know is raising $20,000 to make a web series about being in New York," Jouhari chimes in, "certainly we can get people to fund a Kickstarter and then rent Carnegie Hall."
The trio raised $8,717 on Kickstarter (their goal was $7,500), and have written a new comedy variety musical exclusively for their now sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, September 22, in which the Debras have to earn their way into heaven. "Ultimately, we want to make our basement stuff in cool and exciting places," their Kickstarter page says. "We want to do something outside of the normal realm of possibility."
We asked the Three Busy Debras to play a few rounds of Would You Rather.
Would you rather perform for an audience full of family and friends who all heckle you or an audience of exes and ex-friends who all heckle you?
"One of us will have a nightmare about this tonight." — Mitra Jouhari
Would you rather be catcalled by Gaston, Jafar, Hades, the old man from "Up," or Ursula?
"Jafar can get it, but does that mean he's, like, allowed to catcall?" — Sandy Honig
Would you rather be forced to teach improv on a plane or on a cruise ship for the rest of your life?
"Mile High Club, babe." — Stonoha
Then the Three Busy Debras answered a few of the world's many burning questions languishing on Ask Reddit.
The last thing you searched for on Google will kill you. How will you die?
"How are those big black flies getting into my apartment?" — Honig
What is one thing you don't want in your obituary?
"She died." — Jouhari
If you could see one song made into a full-length movie, what would it be?
"I would love to see 'Rhythm Nation' made into a whole movie." — Jouhari
Learn more about Three Busy Debras and their namesake show at shedrinksthemilk.com. Three Busy Debras will perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Thursday, September 22, at 8 p.m.