By: Isa Goldberg
April 12, 2018- Making her American debut with, “Nanette,” Hannah Gadsby’s one-woman show the Soho Playhouse crosses the line from stand-up comedienne to feminist satirist, and social critic. Anger, indeed, is the stuff of some of our greatest comedians from Lenny Bruce to Joan Rivers.
Beginning her tale on an “un-interesting” barista she once met in a “cayfay,” the Tasmanian born and bred comedienne informs her audience how she does not fit in small spaces like her hometown, because she looks “like a lesbian”.
After a hilarious riff on her beloved cursive writing, “where all of the letters are holding hands,” she proceeds to describe her family’s reaction to her coming out 12 years ago. Unlike her brothers, she at least does not think with her dick, “which besides, is made of rubber.”
As she discusses the nature of comedy and its creation of tension, she begins to open up about herself, and suddenly she becomes an everywoman, submerged under self-humiliation, internalized homophobia, and the culture of rape, sold to her, and us as inspirational. Getting even more personal, Gadsby angrily confides her odyssey through molestation, abuse, rape and eventual shame of being lesbian.
Returning to a comedic stance, Gadsby avails herself of metaphor to mock gender roles assigned at birth, and how much she enjoys being mistaken for a boy. Next, the former art major, emotionally turns her gaze to straight white men who smugly enjoy all of the benefits of masculinity and white privilege, by accusing selected victimizers of women: Picasso, Trump, Clinton, Woody Allen, Louis C.K., attributing their violations of women to “men hate what they desire.”
There is nonetheless a note of optimism in Gadsby’s rage for, like her, “a broken woman who has rebuilt herself,” women can confront male supremacy, as evidenced by the burgeoning Me Too movement. What started as feminist comedy transforms into an emotional personal diatribe against
the abuse of women.
Women: drag your boyfriends to see “Nanette”. It’s sure to raise their consciousness!
15 Vandam Street, New York City, NY 10013
March 9th, 2018 – May 13th, 2018