Monday, August 13, 2012

Joy killing vegan feminist attends comedic theatre

I went and saw the Soulpepper production of The Sunshine Boys this weekend. I have a very short memory for things I fucking hate in theatre, hence why I would attend a comedy or (eegads) a musical (hate hate hate hate).
The acting was great, I'm sure the play is amazing, it's Neil Simon, I get that he's a touchstone for modern comedy from the 60s/70s. Probably not a bad thing to go see....except it was long, annoying, and the humour is totally lowbrow.

The joy killing feminist in me became particularly incensed in the scenes with the sexy nurse. Not because I myself am a nurse and bristle at the stereotype of the sexualized nurse (although I'm sick of it for sure and feel like the trope is convenient shorthand for not only sexism but a grinding lack of imagination). No, this was annoying to me because it finally crystallized something I find totally annoying in comedy.

This convention is where the white man takes credit for the joke that was laboriously set up by the (usually female) "straight (wo)man" who has to feign a lack of understanding of both the set up and the joke.

There are allusions to mildly racist jokes but clearly sexism is still totally fine in modern theatre, especially when it's a re-production of a comedy gem like "The Sunshine Boys".
It kind of makes me long for new material.

you already know from this picture who the comedic genius is, right?

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