Home, as they say, is where the heart is. This Saturday, a group of female stand-up comedians are looking to spread a little love through a benefit for Richmond Habitat for Humanity at SB’s Main Street Loveshack in the Fan.
For the third time in as many years, the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity is hosting a comedy show as a fundraiser for its Women Build program. Every spring, the program builds a home in the Richmond area to improve someone’s housing situation. The build is aimed at encouraging women to come out and get involved with Habitat for Humanity.
Because of the pandemic, the previous two Women Build comedy benefits were held virtually; this year’s event will be the first to take place in person. The theme will be “Brunch for Dinner,” admission is $25, with food and drinks sold separately.
Headlined by Francesca Lyn and MCed by Alida Harper, the show will also include stand-up sets by Mary Jane French, Kim Villamera, Apple Brown Betty, Lucy Bonino and Sarah Ahmed.
Ahead of the show, Style caught up with five of the event’s performers to get their thoughts on some hot-button topics.
Lyn: I’m a less cool person now because I have opinions about stuff like mulch.
Bonino: I feel like a traitor to all lesbians after becoming a homeowner, because I am not handy at all, and I’m learning that about myself. I literally can’t do anything. My walls are made of concrete, and I have nothing hung up.
Lyn: I would pay money to see you at a Home Depot, because I feel like people would come up to you and be like, “Do you know where I can get that?” and you’d be like, “No.”
French: I feel like if you let Lucy loose in a Home Depot, she would go over the PVC pipe aisle and find a way to construct a strap-on.
Betty: May I make a suggestion? Please stay stupid. You don’t want to learn anything. You don’t want to be that guy, because when you are the handy friend, then everyone makes you their handy friend and it’s a whole thing. You don’t want to do that.
Bonino: People think I know how to do stuff. People ask me to help them move all the time, and I’m like, “Do I look like I’m strong? Do I look like I can help you move a dresser?”
Lyn: You might have a pickup truck. That might be what it is.
French: What I’ve learned is the counterbalance to becoming handy, because, since getting my house, I’ve become more handy. I’ve started being the friend that will change my friend’s oil for them. But I also have very well documented depression, so I have an easy out for any obligation that anyone wants me to do. “I’m just having executive dysfunction today.”
Lyn: Sometimes I just do things like I think a man would do it: A little bit shittily so no one will ask me ever again.
Harper: Weaponized incompetence.
Lyn: I’m here, I’m Black and I’m smart. I’m sick of being exceptional. I would like to just be asleep. Why I can’t I be the princess?
Betty: I’m still waiting to get to that point myself. Everyone treats me like a rented mule. I’ve never been able to be the damsel in distress.
Lyn: I recommend having a slight fainting disorder, which I have. You faint one time in front of your friends, they automatically are like “Are you OK?”
Betty: I was actually diagnosed with a chronic illness a couple years ago, and it’s totally under control, and I’m totally healthy, but I can’t let people know that.
Topic: Dating in Richmond
Lyn: Left swipe, left swipe.
Bonino: I keep going after women that don’t like me, and that’s nice.
French: Being polyamorous and queer in Richmond is really fun. Recently, when I moved back to Richmond a few months ago, I went on a handful of Bumble dates. [A] Bumble date said, “Let’s take a walk around Forest Hill Park because it’s gorgeous.” … Months later, I ended up meeting up in that park with a friend of mine. I wind up running into what appears to be two of my past Bumble dates on a Bumble date together, which to me feels like the [greatest] encapsulation of Richmond dating.
Bonino: That’s the most Richmond thing you can do.
Lyn: I realized recently that [I’ve] been dating/hooking up with [a guy for] like 10 years, which means that that’s the longest relationship that either of us have had. That’s embarrassing. I think I’ve seen him in the daylight like four times. He may as well be my “In Case of Emergency” person, but I couldn’t tell you what his middle name is. That’s weird, but that’s very Richmond. … Do I get a watch eventually? Something?
French: I’m just picturing: In case of emergency, break pants.
Harper: At least you’ve seen him in the daylight, so you know that he’s not a vampire.
Lyn: I don’t want to date him, and I don’t think he wants to date me, but now I want to know why. Am I embarrassed of him, or his he embarrassed of me? What is happening? I’m trying to figure that out. He has an Apple Watch now. We used to be cool, and now it’s like embarrassing. An Apple Watch. He looks like a Spy Kid. French: We used to be punk fuckbuddies, and now we’re just yuppie friends with benefits.
Lyn: I used to hook up with him back when American Apparel was cool, and now that’s embarrassing.
Harper: One of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn about dating in Richmond is that heavily tattooed men can still have commitment issues. You can have a tattoo of a camel eating a mushroom on your forearm, but you can’t call me back Jeremy?
French: I’m pretty sure that’s a pop-punk lyric. “It’s easier for me to commit to my next tattoo than to you.”
Betty: I’m very anti-dating in Richmond. There’s a list of things I don’t believe in, like dinosaurs, the electoral college and dating in Richmond. I just don’t do it.
Bonino: You don’t believe in dinosaurs?
Betty: I do not. If you think about it, everything you know is just because someone else told you – whether that was your mom or a teacher – someone else had to tell you that and you had to decide whether or not to accept it. In second grade I was like “Stegosaurus? Nah.”
French: It’s completely fabricated, like Kansas.
Lyn: That’s my only really significant fear. I’m terrified of dinosaurs, specifically animatronic ones. I think that is the scariest thing in the entire world. I’m from Florida. I saw them all the frickin’ time. It’s a dinosaur, only it’s a robot that has the potential to be as smart as a human and kill us all. Why do people like that?
Topic: Generation Z
French: I love ‘em.
Bonino: They told me my hair looked good in a middle part, and I have been doing it ever since.
Lyn: I also like that they’re embracing the looser pants. I don’t know why we millennial people embraced these tight-ass, low-waisted pants when the baggier, wider-leg pants are so much cuter. I like it. Give more to me. Give me the big pants and the small shirt that we’re doing now.
Betty: This generation, they don’t take a whole lot of BS. With the whole being self-aware and healing, calling everything out — I love it, love it.
Lyn: I don’t like it when other millennials are mad that [zoomers] are calling us uncool. That’s what’s supposed to happen. We’re like 40 now. Who cares that some kids are calling you uncool? Bring it. These children can call me uncool all day. I’m still gonna part my hair on the side when I want to. Some of them are going to grow up [with] the ocean on fire. Let them make fun of us.
Bonino: I do like getting compliments. I was at a show and this college student told me they liked my style, and that made me feel good inside my heart.
French: I also love whenever I am in an environment around a bunch of Gen Z kids, especially ones that are still in high school. It’s never been easier for me to spot queer children … because some of the kids will just be a little too excited about my existence.
Bonino: I’m almost 30 now, and I’ve had younger people look up to me, and I just want to be like, “I am a horrible person. I’m not the representative that you are looking for.” If there was a TV show about me, it would be like, “They couldn’t pick a better queer person?”
Lyn: I feel that too. I am not a role model. I am a cautionary tale.
Bonino: My New Year’s resolution was to stop hooking up with straight women.
French: The thing that I like about it is, the kids are alright, and I am appropriately, very visibly trans right now.
Lyn: Gen Z queer kids, do they give you trinkets sometimes? Because I get little gifts, and I like that. [Painted rocks], magnets, key chains. It’s like being a magpie.
Richmond Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build comedy show will take place April 9 at 6 p.m. at SB’s Main Street Loveshack, 2600 W. Main St., 23220. Admission is $25. For more information, visit facebook.com/events/1008835380068928/?active_tab=discussion