Friday, 19 January 2018 13:03

She the People at Second City

With six women onstage pulling no punches and taking no shit – like The Vagina Monologues, if it were freaking hilarious – She the People is the show we need right now. Written, designed, and performed by the women of The Second City, these funny and talented actresses use their wits and comedy chops to send up sexism in advertising, politics, and pop culture.

With sketches ranging from 10 seconds to 10 minutes, She the People parodies all kinds of situations in which women regularly find themselves. A lady in a parking lot is cat-called and, hit with a sudden burst of pink light and romantic music, turns around to face her verbal assaulter, instantly in love. A group of single female wedding-goers slow-motion fight for the thrown bouquet to Mozart's Lacrimosa. A businesswoman gives a boardroom presentation in a dinosaur costume, irritated that her colleagues are focusing on what she's wearing instead of her ideas: "If Bob came up here dressed as a coelurosaurian theropod from the Cretaceous Period, nobody would bat an eye!" I bet if Bob grabbed people by the pussy, too, he would be let off the hook. 

Image result for she the people chicago

This is a refreshingly feminist show, giving women the space to share their experiences without a devil's advocate constantly undermining them. (In one sketch, a woman creates the law: Any time a man directs a sentence at a woman that starts with the word "actually," he must pay that woman a dollar. ON BOARD.)

On the other side of the same coin, the show doesn't shy away from critiquing postmodern feminism as well. A scene comes to mind of a group of twenty-somethings out to brunch discussing social issues only to constantly get distracted by, "Mimooooosaaaaas!" 

Beyond that, She the People fearlessly takes on male-dominated politics – a roomful of all-male politicians sanction laws on female healthcare while giggling at the mention of "boobs" – the sugarcoating of women in media – "I'm a woman in a maxi pad commercial, and I'm going to the emergency room because there's some blue Windex stuff coming out of me," – and systematic racism – a group of friends play a board game called "Privilege"; guess which girl gets five tokens for getting into the same Ivy League school as her parents and which gets zero tokens for getting detained at the airport for no reason.

Image result for she the people cast

So, grab your friends, male and female alike, grab a drink, and enjoy two hours of woke comedy. If you're a man and bring your girlfriend or wife to this show, she will appreciate you, not only because of the sweet date idea, but because she identifies with those women onstage, and if you hear them and understand them, you've heard and understood her.

She the People is playing at Second City's Up Comedy Club Thursdays through Sundays until April 1st. Tickets can be purchased at the box office at North & Wells or on the Second City website.

Published in Theatre Reviews



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