Grace here. For a moment anyway, but no one can express themselves quite like the Kinseys, so I wanted to share with you a lovely note that Irwin Keller, one of the group’s founders, wrote for us back in 2010. It’s a great reminder of why these irrepressible ‘ladies’ bring so much joy to the J. Sadly, they and their fabulous world premiere Electile Dysfunction: The Kinsey Sicks for President! have to leave us on the 19th, so hurry to, as DC Theatre Scene puts it in their rave review, “swing your vote their way and stop in. Do your duty, people.”
THE KINSEY SICKS: GOOD FOR THE JEWS?
You’re probably asking: what is this bunch of overly pancaked, gaudily dressed, atrociously coiffed divas doing at Theater J?
But enough about the audience. Let’s talk about The Kinsey Sicks.
For nearly 18 years The Kinsey Sicks have been shoveling dumploads of Jewish angst, queer politics, overt silliness, less overt erudition, an adolescent attachment to the vulgar and an abiding love of music into our productions.
But nu, are we Jewish?
Early in our career we were asked to perform at what is now a San Francisco institution: “Kung Pao Kosher Comedy”—a Christmas event for Jews. The producer asked, “Do you have Jewish material?” “Tons,” we crowed. She hired us. And then we sat down to come up with some.
But writing Jewish came naturally. Ben Schatz, our chief songwriter, merely had to open his mouth and something Jewish would come out. Something about worry, food, assimilation or the undeniable attractiveness of gentiles. From there it was just a short jump and we were singing litanies of Jewish feminist heroes and doing production numbers in Yiddish, careful to make the mother tongue the premise, not the butt, of the joke.
But it doesn’t matter how many Jewish references we have. It doesn’t matter how many Jewish members we have. We have a Jewish outlook. We see the absurdity around us and choose to laugh. We recognize the inability of people ever to really understand each other, and find amusement in it. We are aware of the ultimate misguidedness of hope, and persist in hoping anyway. Very Jewish.
We are delighted to come home to Theater J and we welcome you into the world of The Kinsey Sicks.