Less than two weeks after the presidential election, New Yorkers are still trying to make sense of what happened, find their place within the fate of the U.S., and reconcile the fact that their viewpoint was not the obvious and majority viewpoint in the country. For those of you still feeling a little lost in the projected futures of our nation or for anyone who wants to sit in a dark room and listen to optimism that is not meaningless but practical, then, New York, you need Josie Long’s new comedy show Something Better now more than ever.
Something Better comes off the tail of the Brexit vote, written and performed by British comedian Josie Long. It is a coincidence that between the time she booked her two-week run in New York and the time her show debuted on November 19, America had made a similar vote. The parallels between the two elections are obvious, and while Long doesn’t talk too in depth about Donald Trump, New Yorkers will feel a kindred spirit in her as she discusses the days following the Brexit vote and how her position as a liberal, as a privileged white Briton, as what the media are calling the “metropolitan elite,” has a whole new place in society. Something Better travels through a range of emotions, from grief and despair to optimism and activism (I realize activism is not an emotion, but it works here).
But lest I make you think the show is a political rant, the emotional intelligence is speckled with silliness, from deconstructing the Pina Colada song in the pre-show to testing to see how many times Josie can misquote To Kill a Mockingbird without losing her audience. It is a fun show, one that will make you feel, if not better about the future of our nation, then at least not alone. Josie Long is not to everyone’s taste, so if you are only a fan of mainstream comedy, beware that this show has more heart and intelligence than what you’re used to; but Long warns us of that upfront when she tells us she’s not a stadium comedian with a catch phrase… before inventing a catch phrase for herself, which she’s had made onto a banner, and mimics catch phrase comedians by trying to get the audience to shout it back to her.
You will also get a nice little booklet of people doing inspiring things post-Brexit, along with a Josie Long cartoon, recapping the time she tried to put solar panels on George Osborne’s building against his wishes or knowledge.
Anyway, go see Josie Long at Barrow Street Theatre in the West Village of Manhattan. It is the most important show you will have seen all year. She’s here until December 3.
Also, Josie Long autographed my Cara Josephine DVD. So nice! And my one contribution to the show (she asked the audience at the premier to let her know of anything she mentioned that we don’t have in America) was that the American title of the Hokey-Cokey is the Hokey-Pokey.