Thursday night’s sold-out premiere of Brava Theatre’s new monthly stand-up show was a rare opportunity to belly-laugh about painful, seemingly hopeless things — like gentrification, border walls, and gay conversion therapy.
Wearing a tiny hat and sparking eyelashes, Jesús U. BettaWork, host of the evening, twirled his way onto Brava’s cabaret stage, cracking jokes about his mama’s initial displeasure when he came out as gay, but she eventually “came around the brokeback mountain.”
“But in San Francisco these days, you’ve got no choice but to come out of the closet, because the closet has been sold and is being converted into a studio for rent!” he joked.
Mostly women-led, “Who’s Your Mami Comedy” is a night of bold, feminist energy, and calling out tech bros. Anyone can be a mami, regardless of gender identity. It’s non-binary. The audience skewed towards mostly women, of all ages, and were clearly having a good time.
The show featured comedians Bernadette Luckett, Alexandria Love, Jeen Yee, and Josiah Luis Alderete. Their material was wide-ranging. A Nextdoor post about a brown egg thrown at a Tesla. A Trump piñata crossing the border disguised as a Southern preacher. Retroactive prostitution as a means of paying off your student loans. Ultimately, this show was a humorous take on the things that make us all anxious and sad.
The organizer and headliner of the night (and the monthly series) was Brava’s artist-in-residence Marga Gomez, known for her work on HBO and off-broadway, and the self-described mami of all mamis. She delivered a joyful, reflective closing act about change both good and bad.
“I remember Valencia Street when it was all lesbians and mariachi bands.” She also remembers a time when the only opportunities available to Latina actresses were, “hooker, midwife, maid, or the occasional, nuanced role of hooker AND midwife.”
“Who’s Your Mami Comedy” will play every second Thursday of the month (except October) at 8 pm. General seating is $10 in advance online (brava.org) or $15 at the door. Brava is located at 2773 24th street, San Francisco.