Women are funny, from age 7 to 70

The 1812 Productions team takes a look at being funny.  Credit: John Flak
The 1812 Productions team takes a look at being funny.
Credit: John Flak

The same year that Jennifer Childs’ daughter celebrated her seventh birthday, her mother turned 70. Spending time with two of them, Childs noticed that both made her laugh, only in entirely different ways.

“My mom is funnier at 70 than she ever was in her whole life,” says Childs. “Mostly because she owns herself now and cares less what people think, so she has the freedom to say what she feels and be who she is. In the meantime, my daughter was trying to figure out how she’s funny, what makes people laugh and what makes people go, ‘OK, settle down.’ I was watching her imitate other people’s humor in an attempt to find her own.”

With those polar opposites in mind, Childs began noticing how the humor she shared with her own female friends was changing as they moved into their mid-40s and early 50s. “All of a sudden we’re Bette Davis in ‘All About Eve’ — where did that come from? Women are very transformative creatures, and I became fascinated with the question of whether our humor transforms and ages as we do.”

So Childs, the artistic director of Philly’s all-comedy theater company 1812 Productions, began exploring that question with a wide variety of women from diverse backgrounds, from journalists to individuals served by domestic abuse services and prison transition programs to Lucie Arnaz, daughter of perhaps the most famous comedienne of them all, Lucille Ball.

The result of the ensuing three years’ work is “It’s My Party: The Women and Comedy Project,” which will premiere at Plays & Players Theatre, 1812’s home base, beginning this weekend. The show’s three acts travel through the three ages of comedy that Childs discovered in her own family.

Visiting with community partners like Women Against Abuse, Transition Network and Why Not Prosper, Childs found herself mining comedy from very unfunny territory. “Most of the women who I talked to told me stories that were really difficult: angry, sad, tragic, violent stories,” she says. “But they told them with such incredible humor. We use humor to make our way through the world. I want to make you laugh, but the secret mission is I want to change your life.”

If you go

“It’s My Party: The Women and Comedy Project”
April 25-May 19 (Opening night May 1)
Plays & Players Theatre
1714 Delancey St.
$22-$38
215-592-9560
www.1812productions.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

Movies

Dakota Fanning's indie growing pains on 'Very Good…

Dakota Fanning on her latest "Very Good Girls."

Entertainment

Britney Spears launches new lingerie line and fans…

Women everywhere can say that they are not that innocent when Britney Spears launches her new lingerie and loungewear line. “Every woman should feel confident…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…