Rialto presents all-female standup showcase ‘Pumps’
By Randall G. Mielke For Sun-Times Media October 25, 2012 10:16AM
Renee Gauthier will be part of the Pumps and Punchlines show at the Rialto Square Theatre on Nov. 2. | Courtesy of Rialto Square Theatre
‘Pumps and Punchlines’
♦ 8 p.m. Nov. 2
♦ Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet
♦ Tickets, $22.50-$32.50
♦ (815) 726-6600
Updated: October 25, 2012 10:18AM
Sometimes female stand-up comedians struggle to gain acceptance in a male-dominated industry. But comedienne Renee Gautheir believes that the stereotype is changing.
“Funny is funny,” said Gauthier, who will appear with three other female stand-up comics in “Pumps and Punchlines” on Nov. 2 at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. “True comedians are in competition with other comedians regardless of gender.”
“Pumps and Punchlines” is a night of stand-up comedy featuring female comedians. Whether they joke about gossip, men, sex, family or friends, no topic is off limits during this evening of comedy.
“All four of us pride ourselves on being versatile and we are supportive of each other,” said Gauthier about her three female onstage companions Erin Foley, Rachel Feinstein and Erin Jackson. “The only real difference is our point of view; how we are seeing things.”
“We do about 25 to 30 minutes of material each,” Gauthier continued, “and the line-up rotates from show to show. We also take turns hosting the show.”
Among them, the four comics have performed on “Comedy Central,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Chelsea Lately” and “Last Comic Standing.” They also have appeared at top comedy venues such as The Second City, Gotham Comedy Club, Caroline’s on Broadway, The Laugh Factory and The Improv.
The four comics first performed together in Nov. 2011.
“It started out as a one-time thing in Albany, N.Y.,” Gauthier said, “but then they kept us together. It has been the same four of us performing every show. The shows will be off and on, as we continue to our own shows, but we have ‘Pumps and Punchlines’ scheduled through March 2013.”
For her portion of the show, Gauthier mostly talks about herself.
“I’m not a big relationship comedienne,” said Gautheir, who grew up in Elmwood Park, and now resides in Los Angeles, Calif. “But my act is about me, like the story when my sister and I rescued our dog, who only has three legs.”
Gauthier began her comedy career at The Second City in Chicago. She is a popular comedian at The Laugh Factory and The Comedy Store. Gauthier has performed stand-up on TV’s “Last Call With Carson Daly” and Season 7 of “Last Comic Standing.”
“I went to The Second City in Chicago and learned improvisational comedy,” Gauthier said about her early days in comedy. “I loved it, but I needed to express myself differently, so I started doing stand-up comedy.”
Even doing stand-up, Gauthier relies on her instincts rather than an abundance of written material.
“I think the greatest part of this is when you get busy and live your life, then creatively the comedy happens anyway,” she said. “Other comedians make time to write jokes, but I don’t usually do that. My comedy career started with improv and sketch comedy, so I am used to winging it.”