Layers: The ‘SUP Show is a Smash Success at Caveat
Tell me if you’ve heard this one.
A middle aged man sits down to read a newspaper.
“Another powerful influential man has been accused of sexual assault? I can’t believe it!” he gasps, “as a man with one hundred daughters I am personally and deeply offended!”
He bolts up, the crowd roars, and with perfect precision he dances his ludicrous interpretation of Demi Lovato’s “Daddy Issues”.
And so begins The ‘SUP Show.
The man is none other than host Jesse Roth, the time is a little after 10 on a Thursday evening, and you might have just managed to find yourself a seat. The place is Caveat, a new venue near Clinton and Houston St. which bills itself as the home to “intelligent nightlife”. The ‘SUP Show is typically an open mic hosted Tuesday nights at The Creek and The Cave, and if you’re like me you’ve never performed there. That’s because SUP is a comedy collective which specifically encourages female, queer, and gender non-conforming performers. All others (howdy to the rest of us) are happily asked to take a seat and be entertained.
The hosts (Juliet Prather, Fareeha Khan, Maddie Fischer, Stephanie Pace, and the aforementioned Roth) handle the show with such easy aplomb you forget there is even a show to be hosted. Each transition, each introduction, each segway was performed so smoothly and confidently, it was immediately very clear this group was meant to produce larger and larger shows. The hosts are stand-ups themselves, and it was a real joy to track and compare the various jokes and stories they recounted. It becomes quite evident that the unifying principle of the group is not a brand of comedy, but a shared love for each other, and so you love them back, and eagerly anticipate their return.
As is true of any great show, the hosts brought in a wonderful group of guests and let them do their thing:
Opener Charlie Bardey made some pretty astute observations regarding ads on the subway, and went on to describe SUP’s weekly show as a “nice break” from straight open mics, which can attract a certain type of man eager to complain about his girlfriend to the captive crowd.
The sentiment was echoed by Carolyn Bergier, who recounted a time at an open mic where she was introduced by a man as “very sexy” before promptly educating the crowd on the perils of pink hair during breast cancer awareness month.
Ruminations on youth followed from Micheal Foulk, who recalled his odyssey from being a closeted young Texan in a Christian metal band, and Maggie Widdoes, who dissected childhood politics and the near-inevitable depression that comes with growing up.
A personal source of enjoyment was tracking Lorelei Ramirez’s set as she let loose an imaginative flurry of setups that leapt from the eclipse, to ghosts, then on to the psychology of horror writers, followed by a monster shopping at the bank, before finishing with spoken word poetry.
Sydnee Washington brought a cool confidence, at one point playfully admonishing the crowd for failing to acknowledge that money does matter in relationships. You get the sense from her life stories that she recounts on stage what most people wish they could confess to their diary.
Headliner Sasheer Zamata, fresh off her Seeso special Pizza Mind, led the show to a wonderful finish. And though it may be too much to ask for a holistic summary spanning twelve different acts of comedy, I thought Sasheer’s message– the hard lessons one learns as they slowly grow into a functional adult– served as a poignant punchline and fitting end to the sold out show.
Mentions: This performance took place January 25th, 2018 at Caveat in New York. Catch ‘SUP March 17 at Caveat, hosted by Juliet Prather, Maddie Fischer, Fareeha Khan, Jesse Roth and Stephanie Pace! Photo credit: Carly Hoogendyk.