In 2009, Kaytlin Bailey graduated from the College of Charleston with three degrees. That’s two to three more degrees than most people. And they did very little for her job prospects when she moved to New York City to pursue stand-up comedy. However, she’s fortunate to have an alma mater that hosts an annual theater series focused on current and former students and faculty. Stelle di Domani marks the first stop on Bailey’s Pink Collar Comedy tour, a Kickstarter-fueled road trip that will take her and three fellow female stand-up comedians around the Eastern Seaboard.
Bailey did a good job picking women who represent a varied cross-section of life. Their ages (we’re guessing) range from the mid-20s to the mid-30s. Opener Abbi Crutchfield is biracial, three years into her marriage, and obsessed with pajama jeans. Bailey herself was up next, dishing on post-graduate living with her odd-couple parents (he’s a conservative Vietnam vet, she’s a pot-smoking liberal fundraiser). Carrie Gravenson is newly single after an eight-year relationship with a brilliant idea for a step-dad birthday card. And closer Erin Judge hobbled to the stage on a freshly minted walking cast, but it wasn’t noticeable as she shared stories about being gay-bullied in high school, attending her ex-girlfriend’s wedding, and picking out her own wedding invitations with her Jane Austen-loving husband.
All the women had something different to offer, although horrific job stories was a recurring theme (fitting with the “Pink Collar” title). Bailey compared working at Starbucks to working at a 1-percenter kindergarten; Crutchfield shared the most passive-aggressive way to get back at an employer; and Gravenson dreaded being stuck in an elevator with her asshole boss.
The show definitely increased in hilarity as the night went on, with the laughs getting louder with each new performer. There was never a major rolling-in-the-seats moment, but this was also an early show on a Wednesday evening with a mostly older audience, and the women had only just arrived in Charleston hours earlier. It’s possible that once they get their bearings in the city, and if you’re seeing a show after happy hour, that the Pink Collar Comedy Tour will be a more raucous affair than on opening night. But the women each seem to have a deep well of material to work with and we have high hopes for their Charleston run.
Interestingly, what might have been the biggest miss of the night didn’t come from one of the women; it came from the show’s host, local comic and Charleston Comedy Fest 2012 stand-up competition winner Dusty Slay. His introductory set was mostly solid, but he might want to save his rapey-roofie joke for a much, much, much different venue.