Theater Review: SHE THE PEOPLE (Second City at San Diego Rep)

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by Milo Shapiro on November 22, 2021

in Theater-Los Angeles,Theater-Regional


The Second City school of comedy never held back on giving funny women stage time, even going back to the sixties and seventies.  From Joan Rivers to Gilda Radner to Catherine O’Hara, showcasing funny women has been one of their triumphs, leading many of them to SNL and other fame.   Second City has home bases in Chicago, Toronto, and Hollywood where all kinds of sketch and improvisation shows and classes take place.  What’s unique about this touring show is the entirely female cast and the focus on issues and topics that reflect women’s lives.

Alex Bellisle, Carisa Barecca, Kaye Winks

Because the program, created and originally directed by Carly Hefferman, is primarily sketch comedy (with a little improvisation thrown in), there’s no single plot to describe.  Instead, we take in around thirty little skits, ranging from twenty seconds to around ten minutes.  Most of the topics won’t be a surprise (aging, being taken seriously by men, workplace equality) but others are a little more clever in their reach for topics (women’s tendency to apologize too much, shattering the wanting-to-be-a-princess illusion, becoming our mothers).

Katie Caussin, Sayjal Joshi, Kaye Winks, Mary Catherine Curran, Alex Bellisle, Carisa Barecca

Not surprisingly, in its effort to empower women, the show’s politics lean a bit to the left as they cover topics that are not specifically gender-related from a woman’s point of view.  For instance, three women play a board game called “Privilege” where, for some reason, only the straight white woman picks any cards that yield her points.  Privilege is not a woman’s issue, per se, but more interesting (and perhaps funnier) in the setting of three close female friends suddenly struggling to enjoy each other’s company as the game unfolds uncomfortably.   There were a few empty seats after intermission, despite hearty laughter throughout Act I, so this reviewer suspects that a few conservatives may have felt out of place.  A pity, since Act II had some very funny material.

Katie Caussin, Sayjal Joshi, Kaye Winks, Mary Catherine Curran

Some topics (racism, abortion, gun ownership), when discussed on any network from CNN to Fox would likely be heavy, but the writers behind She The People are successful far more often than not in finding the funny in modern conflicts.  Like Saturday Night Live, there are highs and lows throughout the show, but laughter was consistent through the show, not only from the groups of women in attendance, but plenty of entertained men as well.

Mary Catherine Curran, Katie Caussin

Bottom line: If you enjoy the Saturday Night Live kind of humor and would enjoy seeing some rising stars presenting that type of comedy, She The People is a fun night out with plenty of female energy flare.

Alex Bellisle, Sayjal Joshi, Mary Catherine Curran

photos by Tim Schmidt

Katie Caussin, Alex Bellisle

She the People
The Second City at San Diego Repertory
Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza
Tue & Wed at 7; Thu & Fri at 8; Sat at 2 & 8; Sun at 2 & 7
ends on December 5, 2021
for tickets, call 619.544.1000 or visit SD Rep

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