Ladies Night: A Very Important, Very Official, Interview

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One of my favorite things about the Dallas Comedy House is how many incredibly talented women call the theater home. There are many reasons for this representation and one of the big ones is the presence of shows like Ladies Night. Each month, Katy Evans and Jade Smith put together a variety show that features all female performers. I sat down with them (Kind of; I emailed them some questions that they graciously took the time to respond to) in order to find out more about this wonderful show.

I’m currently listening to the song Landslide because it’s a top notch sweater weather song. What is your go to cold weather jam?

  • Jade Smith- Go Gina – SZA. Her whole album will warm ya up.
  • Katy Evans- I’m hooked on “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato. I turn it on as I’m walking to the train after work and it makes me feel like a badass. This has nothing to do with the weather except that I have to walk outside to go to the train I guess?

How did Ladies Night come about?

  • Katy Evans- Oh man. I remember thinking that we should have an all-female identifying show. I tested a few different show formats and eventually decided to focus on the Ladies Night variety show format. I knew I didn’t want to host it by myself and Jade immediately came to mind because she’s absolutely hilarious and so ridiculously talented. I was like, “Hey Jade, want to host an all-female variety show with me dressed as dudes?” She didn’t even hesitate. She dives in headfirst and I love her for it. Can I do a separate interview about how great Jade is
  • Jade Smith- It all started with a Facebook message. The year was 2016. The day was August 18th, a Thursday morning at precisely 10:06 AM. (Seriously, I went back and checked.) That was the day Katy asked me if I wanted to co-host Ladies Night with her. I responded first with, and I quote, “WHAAA? I would be honored.” And the rest was history. 😭
  • Katy Evans- We have so many talented women at DCH and in the DFW comedy community (and beyond—we’ve had comedians from NYC and Austin on the show too!) that I wanted to showcase them specifically. I wanted to create something that new female comedians could look at and say, “I belong here.” There are so many girls who shy away from being funny and loud and obnoxious because that’s not what we’re “supposed” to be. I want to celebrate the amazing, weird stuff; to show everyone it’s not just for the boys. It was also important to me to reward hardworking, talented female comedians by putting together a stellar lineup every month.
Jade and Katy at the one year anniversary celebration of Ladies Night.

Jade and Katy at the one year anniversary celebration of Ladies Night.

Your show includes improv, stand-up, storytelling, sketch and even some interpretive dance. How do you balance all of these things and make them into one cohesive show?

  • Katy Evans- HAHA IT’S A PIECE OF CAKE! SO EASY! Anyone who’s been around me right before a Ladies Night show knows that I’m frantically running around talking to the tech (bless their hearts) and corralling the acts, putting on my costume of the month, dabbing on a goatee, and going over bits with Jade. Putting together the show usually starts right after the previous show ends; it takes some time to check availability and make sure it’s a solid lineup. I talk to other teachers and coaches as well as performers to get the scoop on what people are doing and if any of it will work for Ladies Night. Plus, I keep a spreadsheet of all the past shows with their lineups as well as potential future acts. I’m a little Type A.
  • Jade Smith- We bounce a lot of ideas back and forth, but Katy is the real mastermind behind the lineup. Katy is truly a curator of comedy, a tailor of talent, an artisan of ART.

I’ve heard from many people that participating, or in some cases just watching, Ladies Night has inspired them. Which comedians inspire you?

  • Katy Evans- WHAT?! Am I crying right now? Literally every person who has graced the LN stage inspires me.
  • Jade Smith- I’m obsessed with a long list of comedians. Yall mind if I praise a few right quick? Jasmine Ellis, Latrice Allen, KeLanna Spiller, De De T, Lauren Davis, Charmz, and Katy Evans.
  • Katy Evans- But you’re probably asking for like, famous people, right? Mindy Kaling. I just love that she and her friend were like “Hey, we can’t get work so let’s write a dumb play about Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and put it up ourselves” and now look at her. And of course I worship Kate McKinnon. Our world doesn’t deserve her.
Bonnie Criss and Marilou Canon performing a satirical piece about internet instructional videos.

Bonnie Criss and Marilou Canon performing a satirical piece about internet instructional videos.

Ladies Night is just one of the many comedic enterprises that each of you is involved in. Besides the show you do together, what is the most memorable thing you’ve seen your co-host do on stage?

  • Jade Smith- Years ago, there was a show where Katy played Minnie Pearl in Tharp. I’ll never forget it. Katy’s costume was spot-on, as well as her presence on stage. Katy’s level of commitment was just amazing. AND THE REST WAS HER-STORY.
  • Katy Evans- FCC. Hands down. Literally everything Jade ever did with FCC is my favorite thing ever. The sketch with Julia and Jade as a rapper and a DJ, respectively, had me rolling. Both FCC sketch shows have been my favorite sketch shows I’ve ever seen at DCH (MAYBE EVER?!) and I’ve just been blown away. Sorry everyone else, you’re good too, but FCC. Damn.

The Ladies Night One Year Anniversary show was followed by a dance party. What dreams do you have for the second anniversary?

  • Katy Evans- Bearded Ladies Karaoke. You heard it here first, folks.
  • Jade Smith- Picture this. We’re on a yacht – everyone is dressed in black tie, think elegance with a touch of flair from TGI Fridays. We’re laughing, everyone’s laughing, we’re bathing ourselves in champagne fountains. Ashley Bright performs an elaborately choreographed dance to the theme song from Golden Girls. The guest list is so exclusive Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is turned away at the door. Diamonds are raining from the ceiling – it’s a diamond thunderstorm. Amanda Austin and Maggie Rieth Austin both wear satin gloves so long they go all the way up to their collarbones. Oprah has a full-blown fight with her best friend Gail in the bathroom and it’s intense. Everyone leaves with an iPhone Infiniti, Apple’s latest phone that can also drive you places. Katy and I take water jetpacks and close out the show from the sky. My parents try to record it on their iPads, but their storage is full. Probably something like that!

David Allison is writer and performer at the Dallas Comedy House, who can currently be seen with Ballast Point, David & Terry and The Rift, as well as directing the sketch team Walker Dog and the improv team Watermelon. Previous credits include Jason: A Campy Musical, Freddy: A Devilish Musical, That 90s Show, Return Of The 90s, Sensation: The Next Great Play, The DCH Roast Series and more!