By: Paulanne Simmons
February 4, 2023: Town Hall’s latest featured artist in its Crossing the Pond the Pond Comedy Fest, Joanne McNally, hails not from the U.K. but neighboring Ireland. Her humor, however, is not typically Irish or British. McNally speaks the standard language of today’s comedians, including all those taboo subjects with all those taboo words never before (meaning a decade two) spoken in polite company, or certainly not across the airwaves.
This means she rags and rages about our favorite subjects: aging (white women don’t age well, a payback for their white privilege), religion (she describes her communion, for which boys and girls wore wedding clothing complete with a veil for girls), marriage (not for her, even as she faces her fortieth birthday) and of course sex (one-night stands, relationships, making noise, staying quiet, staying awake).
The show is called “The Prosecco Express,” although it has little to do with wine, whether it be Italian or white, or any other variety. Unless you count the invitations to purchase a drink from the bar and a twenty-minute break for doing that between the opening act and McNally’s long and exuberant welcome.
With or without an inebriated audience, McNally certainly knows how to work a large crowd in an enormous house, while at the same time creating an intimate, we’re all in this together atmosphere.
McNally’s in-your-face humor leaves no holds barred. She joyfully makes fun of everything and everyone, including (most especially) herself. Her vision of the world, however, is grim. True love, happy memories, loving family and friends are not the stuff that bring forth happy shrieks and knee pounding. These days belly laughter must be gut wrenching.
Maybe that’s what all the liquor is about.
Joanne McNally: The Prosecco Express
The Town Hall
123 W 43rd St
New York, NY 10036