Jennifer Blaine, Philadelphia’s acclaimed solo performer, comedienne, and playwright “whose comic genius is like Lily Tomlin and Tracey Ullman” (Philadelphia Daily News) will perform her one-woman show Dirty Joke as part of the 2014-2015 By Local series at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, March 6 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, 2015 at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA. Tickets are $20-30 and available at www.AnnenbergCenter.org or by calling 215-898-3900. The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts’ By Local Series spotlights artistic talent that thrives within the Philadelphia community.
Jennifer Blaine has performed with the likes of Chris Rock, George Carlin, and Joe Piscopo, and has brought her smart, irreverent humor to premier venues and festivals nationwide. Jennifer is renowned for her extraordinary ability to shift between characters across age and ethnicity; her shows are a balm for those craving some comedy, candor, and inspiration.
Jennifer is thrilled to bring Dirty Joke back to her hometown of Philadelphia, after premiering the show to sold-out audiences at the 2013 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. According to the Philadelphia City Paper in their review, “It’s comedy with a conscience…Blaine is warm and thoughtful, never pushy or pedantic, and of course there’s all those dirty jokes.”
Dirty Joke centers on one of Jennifer’s most popular characters: Ruth, an elderly Jewish woman with a penchant for off-color humor. Ruth sings, dances, tells jokes, and makes light out of the dark moment in which she finds herself — struggling to hold onto her apartment. As Ruth convenes the first live “Superwoman Conference,” Jennifer portrays 7 real-life changemakers who have made a significant impact on our world:
- Madeleine Albright: The first female U.S. Secretary of State, who advocated for democracy and human rights;
- Arianna Huffington: Chair, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group and author of 14 books;
- Caroline Casey: Blind Irish activist who rode 1,000 kilometers across India on an elephant to raise funds for Sightsavers;
- Kiran Bir Sethi: Pioneering Indian educator who founded the Riverside School in Ahmedabad, focused on engaging young people and making cities more child-friendly.
- Majora Carter: Founder of Sustainable South Bronx who coined the term “Green The Ghetto,” and the recipient of the MacArthur “genius” Fellowship;
- Cindy Sheehan: American anti-war activist who protested outside of President George W. Bush’s Texas ranch after her son was killed during the Iraq War;
- Wangari Maathai: Nobel Prize-winning Kenyan activist who, as founder of the Green Belt Movement, planted millions of trees with women’s groups.
As Jennifer explains, “When I craft a character, I start from an inner sense of who the person is and what motivates them. I study their history, listen to them speak and zero in on their gestures, posture and gait. Then there comes that shift from being just a snippet of a person into a living, breathing tribute.”
Dirty Joke marks Jennifer’s fourth collaboration with director and fellow Wesleyan University graduate Vashti Dubois — who produced the critically acclaimed Philadelphia performance EvictionProof PeepShow Home. Vashti co-founded the Mumbo Jumbo Theatre Company in New York City, championing female artists of color such as playwrights Lynn Nottage and Adrienne Kennedy and actresses Lisa Gay Hamilton and Hazel Goodman.
It’s no coincidence that Jennifer’s latest show features a “Conference of Superwomen.” In addition to keeping a busy schedule as a solo performer and comedienne, Jennifer is the founder of The 5,000 Women Festival – which showcases the creativity of women artists in all media. For more information about Jennifer Blaine and The 5,000 Women Festival, visit www.jenniferblaine.com.