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


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.