Review: CHICK FIGHT at Shaking The Tree

CHICK FIGHT runs at Shaking the Tree through April 2.

By: Mar. 11, 2022
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

Review: CHICK FIGHT at Shaking The Tree

If you're lucky and you act quickly, you might still be able to score a ticket to CHICK FIGHT, a new devised work from Shaking the Tree that seeks to answer the question "Why are women so horrible to each other?" Because we can be very mean - we gossip, we bully, we're catty. We're especially mean to other women who are assertive or dominant. I know this sounds like so much gender stereotyping, there's actually a pretty large body of psychology research on this topic (here's just one cringe-worthy example).

The play, with a script by Sara Jean Accuardi and directed by Samantha Van Der Merwe, ratchets the mean girls trope up about 37 notches. As with everything at Shaking the Tree, it's part performance piece, part art installation (be sure to arrive when the doors open to take in the installations - they relate to what happens on stage). IMO it's also the first must-see theatre event of 2022.

CHICK FIGHT is a WWE-style smackdown between SHE, played by Kayla Hanson, and HER, played by Rebby Yuer Foster. There's also HIM, an onlooker who provides the ever-important male gaze (what ever would we do without that?) and also plays the cello.

SHE and HER are both "monstrous things," women so powerful and so vicious that anyone who gets within striking distance faces a certain death (literally in the case of SHE, who was nurtured on poison from a young age and now has poison running through her veins - one touch is enough to kill). SHE and HER step into the ring for eight rounds of brutal battle. They fight in all the ways women do - gossiping, shaming, backstabbing, passive-aggression, and straight up physical violence.

But the fighting is not the point. CHICK FIGHT seeks to understand why, and the answer, of course, is much more complex than "mean girls are mean." The play is a powerful commentary on a media culture that objectifies women, a society that teaches us that other women are threats, and a patriarchal system that refuses to let us out of the wrestling ring (note that there are an even number of rounds in this cage match, but as we're a nation of winners and losers, no ties are allowed).

CHICK FIGHT is the kind of in-your-face work of art that makes Shaking the Tree so great. There's no sitting quietly in the dark, nodding off or checking your watch. You'll laugh and gasp, you'll likely recognize yourself in a lot of the situations (for better or worse), you'll admire the brilliant writing and exceptional performances, and you might possibly feel like you have also been touched by someone with poison in their veins. It's an exhilarating, thought-provoking, and necessary piece.

CHICK FIGHT runs through April 2. There's only room for about 40 people in the audience, so don't delay getting your tickets. More info here:


To post a comment, you must register and login.

Vote Sponsor