Last night, Ledcat and I popped over to Club Cafe to catch the comedy stylings of Jennie McNulty, an openly lesbian comedian. Her promoter contacted me a few weeks ago asking me to list the show which is the first time I heard about her. (No cable = no Logo = poor lesbian pop culture awareness).
I was determined to get a table so we got in line (yes, a line of mostly middle aged lesbians) before the doors opened at 6 PM and managed to snag a booth, which we happily shared with our new friend Bert and her Pittsburgh Passion cohorts. The room was packed in less than an hour, packed with a slightly older (35ish and above) crowd of women I mostly did not recognize. Most of the Passion were there, fitting as Jennie plays football for a California team. I don't know the capacity of Club Cafe, but I've never seen it so full …. maybe 200 people? Ledcat compared it to a Mary Gauthier show (another openly lesbian performer). Don't get Ledcat started on her Mary Gauthier thing.
You know one cool thing? Women were giving up their chairs when older women came in the room. I've never seen that before. People were being kind. At a club. I wasn't kind. I kept my seat and tried not to get annoyed at the seemingly new trend of femme lesbians whacking innocent bystanders with oversized purses. If you don't wear a jacket to a club, you might want to think about a slimming down the purse. Do it for the poor wait staff trying to wedge their way through a herd of lesbians without spilling the Merlot. God Bless 'em.
Jennie was pretty funny, but most of show was more banter than actual jokes. She has Pittsburgh family and ties so she told some rather routine “I know a little bit about your city” stuff to connect with the crowd. That was okay, but after like the 16th reference to the Pittsburgh Passion, it was a little stale. Her actual jokes were funny. And she had a joke about a joke which was pretty amusing. Maybe if she had said something about reading this really amusing local lesbian blog, I would have felt differently. LOL. I suppose, on the other hand, it was cool that she mixed up a very specific lesbian focus with general funniness.
McNulty has no problem claiming the mantle of lesbian. She did some good material about the importance of being openly gay and wove good relationship stories into that theme, mocking the lesbian mythology that makes us all laugh. I hope the large turnout encourages Club Cafe to book other openly gay performers. Perhaps, other venues, might consider the same. There's clearly an audience for queer comedy. Lily Tomlin was just here. Margaret Cho is coming to town.
I have to say that Club Cafe is a nice venue, but their panini was the saltiest sandwich I've ever had. Ledcat sort of mocked me for ordering a panini at a show, but what can I say — I eat an Panera a lot. I won't make that mistake again. The nachos were good. The servers were pretty amazing and the booth seats definitely beat the tables. The crowd was friendly, even if we were slightly trapped between the purses and the Passion.
One other pretty cool thing about McNulty is that she uses her website to promote other LGBT comedians.
All in all, it was a good Valentine's Eve. Plus, we made it home in time to watch Numb8ers. I heard many other, much older lesbians, planning to party after the show, but I was perfectly happy to come home and watch television in bed, chat on Facebook and just enjoy some comfort time with Ledcat.