An all Female Stand-up Comedy Festival Comes to New Jersey
An all female stand-up comedy festival comes to central, New Jersey, with a bold message that "females are funnier". The Cracking Up In Rahway All-Female Comedy Festival debuts on Friday, April 12, 2019, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., at Tabula Rasa Gallery & Event Space, 1645 Irving Street, Rahway, New Jersey 07065. The festival features a diverse line-up of female comedians, an open-mic contest, and an audience driven improv workshop. This event marks the 3-year anniversary of the Cracking Up In Rahway series of comedy showcases.
The festival features bold and outspoken female stand-up comedians: Jax Dell'Osso, Shari Linick, Deana Kobe, Big Momma, and Tania Lewis. Audience members can expect an entertaining night of comedy from a woman's perspective. The event is more than just a showcase of these talented women, but a new movement, created by the executive producer, Mahogany Reynolds, the Founder and Executive Director of Just Be You Performing Arts.
"As a female producer, it's important for me to create this festival, to give women in comedy a level and equal playing field. So I've started a movement, #femalesarefunnier because my show Cracking Up In Rahway has proven that women comedians are hilarious. They deserve a seat at the comedy table just like their male counterparts," said Reynolds, who launched her first stand-up comedy show in 2016 in Rahway, at the Union County Performing Arts Center's Mainstage Cafe.
"An All female comedy festival is important because comedy is still overwhelmingly male. I got into a discussion with a male comic about why that was. He believed that more men are in comedy because men just like comedy more and are more drawn to it than women. He then went on to point out that more women cook because they are better at it. An all female comedy festival gives us ladies who can't cook something productive to do! I was inspired to join the event because of previous experience working with Ms. Mahogany. I was inspired by her drive and commitment. Being part of her events is empowering," said Kobe, a stand-up comedian for 3 years, her comedy addresses the struggles she faces as a Gen-Xer and a middle aged woman in America today.
"It's important that we have events like these, showcasing the voices of strong women, because our fart jokes matter too," said Dell'Osso, a Brooklyn native, between her time working as a stripper, her crazy Italian family, and her bizarre dating life, she delivers a hilarious glimpse into her weird and interesting world through stand-up.
Over the past 3 years, Just Be You Performing Arts has produced Cracking Up In Rahway with a deliberate mission to give aspiring female comedians a fun and supportive platform to showcase their talent. The show's sell-out and attract a diverse audience of various generations and demographics. Their mother's day show in May 2018; held at the Edison Valley Playhouse in Edison, New Jersey, received rave reviews and proved that an all-female comedy show can sell tickets.
"I truly believe we are empowering other women, and you've heard the term 'band of brothers'? Well now there's 'solidarity of sisters'! May we continue to make strides, while teaching men, as well as others, we are not the weak individuals they think we might be! In the recent events which started the #Metoo movement, I think it's important to show that female solidarity exists everywhere, and that we are fabulous, funny and fierce! I did this show last year, so when I saw the opportunity to possibly be part of this again, I immediately jumped on it! It's such a great event, and I absolutely adore Mahogany," said Linick, who has performed twice in the Cracking Up In Rahway series, showcasing her mix of physical comedy and impressions.
"I am so excited to be a part of this all-female comedy festival, and finally my ovaries have something to do," said Lewis, best known for her sardonic and biting one-liners.
While the festival is primarily geared towards female comedians, Reynolds was sure to not leave the men out. She invited stand-up comedian, Pierre Vega, who debuted in her show in July 2018, to be the festival's special guest. Vega's joke premises range rather broadly; such as having material on the struggles of getting in shape, to having a funny childhood.
"I believe an all female comedy showcase promotes diversity and shows that female comedians and male comedians can equally do their thing on stage and put smiles on comedy lovers faces. I've performed for a Just Be You Performing Arts comedy showcase in the past and this production team puts on a great and fun show. I had a blast working with Mahogany and all the other comics on that line-up," said Vega.
The event opens with a dazzling fashion show, hosted by Anyae's Intimate Apparel, owned by Sherry Hurtado, a New Jersey small business owner. The festival will have live music by DJ Reese, spinning a mix of all-female hit songs from the 80's and 90's. Vendors will be offering a variety of products for sell at the festival and tickets come with a free lace masquerade mask for the ladies. After the festival, guests are invited to hang out with the comedians at the WATT Hotel Lounge, located on 1403 Irving Street in downtown Rahway, to enjoy food and drinks during the after-party.
To see pictures and clips from previous Cracking Up In Rahway shows, follow them on social media at: www.facebook.com/crackingupinrahway. Tabula Rasa Gallery & Event Space is located in the heart of Rahway's art district. Cracking Up In Rahway showcased there in July 2018 for the first time to a sold out audience. Seating is limited. Tickets are on sale now atwww.justbeyoufestival.com. Aspiring female stand-up comedians can register to compete in the open-mic contest on the website as well.