It’s 2018, and angry women aren’t going anywhere. Luckily, some of them come armed with jokes. Earlier this week, the 14th Street Y hosted #NastyWomen: A Night of Female Resistance Comedy, another installment in a comedy series that tries to make sense of our not-too-funny moment.
Hosted by Amanda Duarte, the cathartic evening featured a diverse group of female comedians: Anna Drezen, Maria Shehata, Gina Yashere, and the Haiku Gals, a trio of performers whose medium is improvising the ancient, Japanese 17-syllable poem.
And this being an evening of political comedy in a Jewish downtown venue, I and J also made an appearance. The stars of a short play by Susan Bernfield, produced in partnership with the Jewish Plays Project, the two, as the saying goes, are ripped from the headlines. I (Molly Griggs) and J (Charles Socarides) are the certain Jewish daughter and son-in-law to a certain president relaxing for a Shabbat at home, with the help of their “Secret Service Goy” (Brian Demar Jones). Bernfield’s cutting work accuses the Orthodox couple of hypocrisy, bluntly listing Jewish values that they fail to embody. Jared, as he is often portrayed, is dull as a brick, but Ivanka is a sort of glitching Barbie, jumping from half-thought to half-thought. What was she supposed to care about? Oh yes, the environment! And women. She even compares her liberal friends cutting her off to losing classmates in a mass shooting à la Parkland. Absurd times call for absurd playwriting. It’s a look into the inner lives of the most high-profile Jewish couple in the country, and in this interpretation, the void stares back.
Outside of I and J, Ivanka’s presence was felt throughout the evening amongst different performers, asking the real questions like: Is Jared attractive? And: What hot takes are left about the Samantha Bee controversy?
In all, the evening was a sigh of relief. Sometimes the lines are blurry about where anger ends and humor begins. Sometimes you just want to hear a haiku about an unprintable sex act. Whatever gets you to the next day of #resistance.
If you want more nasty women in your life, you might be interested in Nasty Women Unite Fest, featuring panels of women and non-binary folks exploring feminist issues.