If SNL and Girls had a one-night-stand after meeting at the hipster bar, their bastard kid would be Relationsh!t.
(If you know exactly what this means, go see the show. Now. You don’t need to read the review. Yes, okay, finish your PBR first. Yes, put on your flannel. Then go.)
Two things become clear as soon as the ensemble of Jessica Cooper and Shannon Riley come onstage: One, that both women are extraordinary performers, and two, that they’re having an effing blast.
And frankly, those two things outweigh any possible flaws the show might have–because their energy is as contagious as an STD and as addictive as narcotics. (I’m trying to roll with the themes, guys, forgive me.)
Riley (the taller one, with longer hair) excels at capturing the subtlety of each character she plays–ranging from husbands to hipsters and beyond–while Cooper’s main contribution comes through her comic sensibility and timing. Both women have fantastic–if underutilized–singing voices, and the opening musical number teases us with the kind of snarky songwriting that I hoped would continue throughout the evening.
The script could benefit from a little polishing, but it’s decidedly a comedy and you will indeed laugh. And how can you not, when one sketch has a girl telling her father that she had a sex dream about him and Queen Latifah?
Part of me wants to ask the women behind Relationsh!t to not lean quite so heavily on the same few characters. There’s the girl who cries a lot because she’s locked her keys in her car (but, really, because of a guy). There’s the singer in a band who can’t perform through her sobs (because of a guy). There’s the wedding-obsessed girlfriend. That’s all good, and the characters are fully and entertainingly rendered, but part of me kept waiting for the nerd girl, the bossy girl, the one with an oddly specific personality quirk.
We do get horny grandma. So, in the interest of diversity, there’s that.
by Shannon Riley and Jessica Cooper
45 minutesat Bedroom – Fort Fringe
612 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Details and tickets
Kudos to Cooper and Riley for both writing and performing in a show that’s clever, fun, and high-energy. If Lena Dunham is your spirit animal, if you’re newly single and have all the feelings, or if you, like me, believe we’ll be seeing more from Cooper and Riley in the future, go see Relationsh!t.
(Then go to the bar and see which characters you meet.)