Published Jul 04, 2017In Lower Classy, Cristela Alonzo gets political with the perfect mixture of intelligence and hilarity. Growing up in a single-parent, lower-class household as a first generation immigrant, Alonzo has a lot to say about the current political climate in the United States. Wearing an outfit adorned by a pin of a Mexican and American flag, Alonzo doesn't beat around the bush when discussing white privilege, racism, class issues and her experience as an Latina American woman.
Unlike many comedians who tackle race, Alonzo doesn't rely on stereotypes to drive her comedy, and the result is a refreshing and thought-provoking set. She discusses the ridiculousness of nostalgia for the "good old days," the double-standard of white girls with cornrows and tanning-booth skin, and the struggles of a family living paycheque to paycheque. None of the subject matter ever comes across as heavy-handed, due to Alonzo's ability to inject humour into every situation. She takes a difficult topic and finds humour in the absurdity of it.
Alonzo's comedic chops most notably shine through in her ability to shift the audience's emotions from one extreme to another in the blink of an eye. One moment the audience is rapt and teary-eyed while a choked-up Alonzo recalls a near-final encounter with her terminally ill mother, and before they know it they are suddenly erupting into laughter and applause at the conclusion of her story.
There were moments when Alonzo lingered on a joke a little too long, dragging out her punch lines to draw out the audience's reaction, but this flaw is easily overlooked due to the strength of the rest of the set. Lower Classy is funny, intelligent, and witty, and gives you something to think about long after it's over.
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