Hit-Or-Miss Potty Mouth Insights in The Soup Show

Live Nude Neo-Futurists: The Soup Show
Lauren Sharpe

If Anna Deavere Smith, Lydia Davis, and Margaret Cho were to take over as guest bloggers at Jezebel, their results might resemble The Soup Show, a hit-or-miss blend of potty-mouthed insight about what women have to do to get a little attention/love/respect/action/enlightenment around here. The writer-performers—Erica Livingston, a tentative and thoughtful Southerner; Desiree Burch, ample of physique and opinions; and Cara Francis, the resident wild child, though with misgivings—are members of the Neo-Futurists troupe, best known for cramming dozens of mini-plays into the long-running Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. The same format is used here with the barest of thematic overlays, something involving a tub of water into which the frequently naked trio often dips themselves, along with various foodstuffs.

Many shopworn tropes of third-wave feminism come in for barbed dissection along the way; surprisingly, the staler topics (wedding envy, reality TV, beauty pageants) yield the fresher insights. Not every skit succeeds: It takes more than self-empowerment bromides to elevate Francis's display of vaginal virtuosity beyond its sex-show origins. But so be it—maybe a little too much light on women here and there will make some people see.

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