Women’s Club brings the laughs to Glen Ridge for Mother’s Day

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GLEN RIDGE, NJ — In recognition of Mother’s Day, the Women’s Club of Glen Ridge presented a 90-minute standup comedy show on Saturday night, May 7. “HaHa Mama” attracted a sold-out crowd of 100 mostly young and middle-aged women to the stately venue. The stage was set with a small table covered by a pink cloth and lit by a single light from the balcony. 

Opening the evening, WCGR drama Chairperson Heather Ballantyne said traditionally the club would be presenting something dramatic, but, times being what they are, she was going for the laugh. The show’s host was Becky Veduccio, a comedian with an assortment of credits who is also an improv instructor at William Paterson University. 

Veduccio focused the audience by requesting a primal scream, and the result was not bad. She wanted to know if anyone was a teacher and lived in Montclair or Bloomfield. This last acknowledgement received a burst of applause. Then she turned comedian. 

Veduccio’s subject matter was the misplaced trust we have in people. Her presentation was chatty, providing easy segues. Her aim wasn’t the big laugh but, as host, to develop a bond of complicity between the audience and performers. 

“I don’t trust people who are always nice,” she said. “I prefer kids, they’re straight shooters.”

The first comic on the bill was Marcia Blaustein, an advertising copywriter by profession, whose presentation unfolded as the familiar narrative of life behind the eight ball. 

“I’m perpetually uncomfortable and dissatisfied,” she said right off. “Summer is a time to sweat.”

So she goes to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to visit her parents, who are perpetually fighting. One may soon understand her sweating was a projection of resentment toward her mother, who once bit off the heads of her Fred Flintstone cookies.

“That’s why I’m an unhappy person,” Blaustein said of the cookie episode. “To make it worse, I’m gay. My mother was the last to know.”

Blaustein picked up another nihilist thread.

“All your childhood heroes are dead,” she told the audience. “And you spend more time alone. Spending time on Facebook is the worst thing you can do.”

Concluding, she said trying to meet people was a waste of time for her: She once dated a woman who carried around the ashes of a dead woman in a thermos.

The vulgarity ratcheted up with the next comedian, Linette Palladino. Perhaps because she is an Army veteran who has performed overseas, she zeroed in on Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as an attempt to prove his manhood.

“Dude, relax. Doesn’t Russia have any interns?” she asked. 

She proposed and described a sleazy relationship between her and Putin to end the war, ultimately netting her a Nobel Peace Prize.

“I’m so proud of Ukrainians returning home to fight the Russians,” she said. “If someone was to invade New Jersey, hmmm, do we really need Hoboken?”

Turning to the topic of motherhood, she loved her kid, she said, but would like to smack anyone who thinks pregnancy is a beautiful time of life.

“Look at what it does to your body,” she said. 

The headliner was Veronica Mosey, who has appeared on network television. Mosey placed paperwork on the table and referred to her notes during her performance. 

Mosey said she was 41 when she gave birth to her child, so she had what is known as a geriatric pregnancy. The baby carriage, she said, came with a walker attachment, and her baby was subjected to a barrage of tests.

“There should be a personality test that lets you know if your kid is going to grow up to call the bartender ‘chief,’” she said.

Then she said she had had a ministroke and this was her first audience to know that. Perhaps this was the reason for the table and notes.

“A lot of moms can be competitive,” she said, “and give their kids terrible names.”

She knew one mother who named her kids Gunnar and Stryker and the family dog Fred. Another mother named her son Knoxx, with a double-x. 

“He’s a sissy,” Mosey said. “With that name, he should be a Marine sniper at 7.” 

She said she likes to pronounce the boy’s name with a double hissing sound to aggravate the mom. But her own child will ask her when she uses make-believe voices, isn’t she being mean?

“All I can do is tell the truth,” she told the audience. “I can do this because my parents loved me enough to tell me I’ll never amount to anything and I grew up resilient. Don’t try to reason all the time. Trophies when you lose are wrong. There’s nothing worse than a loser who thinks they’re winners.”

Throughout the various comedy styles presented at the show, the audience kept laughing, having a grand time.

Photos by Daniel Jackovino