Three fold-up chairs are paralleled by four rows of benches. An expanse of dust and smoke are trapped in the air. Twenty or so people pile into the Etcetera Theater, found conveniently above a centrally located pub in Camden Town, to watch the Boom Jennies; an all-female comedy trio that plays up the stereotypical woes that women face in day-to-day life.
By performing skits about running a marathon, dealing with a ghost, celebrating a birthday where nobody shows up, portraying a mother of the groom, awkward encounters with a crush, painting a live nude model, and getting a haircut by an inadequate stylist, the Boom Jennies successfully take obvious female roles and emphasizes their stereotypes through a comedic play on gender theory.
Throughout society’s history, females’ have struggled to dominate. It is only recently through performances like Cantina and now the Boom Jennies that we as an audience are witnessing women dominate the stage. What is slightly ironic about the Boom Jennies performance, however, is that three women comprise a show concerned mainly with making fun of widely feminine topics. They have somewhat attained their level of success by teasing issues that have trivialized the female gender for years. An act concerning an overly emotional mother who gets too carried away when her son gets married plays into stereotypes that involve mothers being overly emotional and overprotective. And yet, not all mother’s act like this at weddings; in fact, most are excited and thrilled for their family to be expanding. Additionally, in the skit concerning awkward encounters with a crush; not all women act like childish, nervous wrecks when their aforesaid crushes are present. We do get nervous and giddy, but the way in which the Boom Jennies overly emphasizes every emotion is what makes them so successful. Through their ability to poke fun at their own gender, they are able to bypass gender boundaries and experience comedic success as an all female cast.
Lastly, the show did not play up women’s sexuality. Two of the three wore pants and one wore a dress with tights. In the skit concerning a nude model, some of the model’s poses were risqué if imagined without clothing, but other than that, the Boom Jennies steered clear of any suggestive or degrading clothing garments or acts, proving just how advanced they are when it comes to gender boundaries and reaching success through avoidance of sexual innuendos. By eliminating any and all elements of sex, the Boom Jennies were able to harness all of our energy as an audience into what was coming out of their mouths instead of what could have been coming off of their bodies. They then enhance the quality of the show, which allows them to climb the ladder towards success that most all-female casts have yet to experience.