Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting
nytheatre.com review by Richard Hinojosa
July 28, 2010
Watching a Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting show is like picking lint from your belly button...it's oddly satisfying but at the same time you feel kind of filthy. Creators/performers Katie Hartman and Leah Rudick pull no punches. They are a high-energy comedy duo with lots of what it takes to make it as comedians. They are fearless and funny and they know it all really boils down to issues with their mothers.
The evening begins with a sketch titled "It's Not About My Mother," which is a spoof of a one-woman show performed by Hartman that is mercifully interrupted by her partner Rudick, who has just clawed her way out of being buried alive by Hartman before the show started. She's a little miffed, as you may imagine, and she wants her revenge; but with a fart noise to the rescue the scene abruptly ends. That, my friends, is what to expect from much of the evening—dark and farty, taint-licking strangeness. They also can be unbelievably endearing with characters like the adorable idiots Bindi and Mindy in the scene that follows the opener. They give us Eve Ensler delivering the commencement speech to an all-boys school. They pack most of their vagina jokes into this one. Their spoof of Inside the Actors Studio set inside an elder care home shows off a couple of their best, most polished characters, and their spin on the movie Saw is absolutely hilarious and certainly their best premise.
I can't say which scene I liked the best. I had a fun time at this show. As performers, Hartman and Rudick make a great pair. Their energy is infectious and they look like they're having fun. There is an intentional raw quality to the show that really appealed to me. They look loose and even drop out of character here and there and pretend to snipe at each other. I think that's a part of what makes them so charming. Their strong character work is what supports most of the night. They have unwavering confidence in the moment and they take great joy in pushing it to the limits. As writers, Hartman and Rudick set up some very clever premises. Their dialogue is crisp and fast and seems to be based on improv rehearsals. They are without a doubt funny and original. I do think some of their sketches could use a little more story and turn-around. In a character-driven show like this, it will just give them more to bite into and give their characters more support.
Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting is once again heading to Edinburgh for the Fringe Fest there and I think they'll make another good splash. They have a twisted outlook on the world and that gives them a good edge. This is sketch comedy at its funny, filthy best.