Buffalonians who are looking for irreverent, female-oriented, and empowering comedy need look no further than River Huston. The comedienne, public speaker, and award-winning poet and sex columnist will present a theatrical performance of her life, “Sex, Cellulite, and Large Farm Equipment: One Girl’s Guide to Living and Dying”, on Saturday, April 24, from 6pm-8pm at St. John’s Grace Episcopal Church in Buffalo. Tickets cost $15 presale.
Huston has performed this routine since March 2004 when she opened at the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia to critical acclaim and positive reviews. Ever since then, the Upper Black Eddy, PA native has toured everywhere from major festivals such as the Midtown International Theater Festival and the Fringe Festival to universities across the United States, with a show that is both funny and inspiring to those who see it.
“I saw her several years ago and she was funny and edgy,” said Andy Kiener, the executive director of the AIDS Network of Western New York, who arranged for Huston to appear in Buffalo. “[She] talks a lot about her struggles but in a humorous way.”
Some of the life experiences that Huston works into her show include running a marathon, marriage and dating, personal financial crises, getting arrested for obscenity, living with HIV and surviving other medical problems, and more. Although her subject matter is blunt and not necessarily for everyone, it is one that she has presented to audiences ranging from a crowd of 40,000 people in Japan, to small colleges and fraternity/sorority houses, to more conservative and older audiences in churches.
When asked about the subject matter of Huston’s performance, Kiener stressed that would-be audience members who are easily offended by language or adult content should think twice before buying tickets. However, he said that if audiences have enough prior warning about the show’s content, they will hopefully know what to expect on the day of.
Whether people love or hate Huston’s show, Kiener said he hopes that the comedienne will educate people. Among other topics, her performances candidly discuss HIV, a subject that people often fear and stigmatize instead of dealing with in an honest and accepting way. This has broad implications for the Buffalo community.
“As a woman living with HIV for many years, she can share her life experiences in a different way using humor and help increase community awareness, acceptance and understanding,” Kiener said.