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An all-female comedy group is returning to Norfolk to “put your panties in a twist”

Panties in a Twist has performed at several locations in Norfolk. The show returns to where it debuted in 2012, the NorVa, on Feb. 10. (Photo courtesy of Sean Devereaux)
Panties in a Twist has performed at several locations in Norfolk. The show returns to where it debuted in 2012, the NorVa, on Feb. 10. (Photo courtesy of Sean Devereaux)


One of the nation's largest all-female comedy troupes is coming to Norfolk to “put your Panties in a Twist.” 

The Panties in a Twist comedy group features 22 female comedians who will perform Feb. 10 at the NorVa with a focus on diversity of cast and content. The sketch-focused show includes improv and musical elements throughout the night, leading to a grand finale.

Though the comedians include (and tease) everyone,  the spirit of community shines through the style and  content.

“Comedy is universal,” said comedian Chelsea West, who is one of the performers.  “This show is universal. Everyone can come and enjoy.”

The troupe spares none of the seven cities in the comedians’ routines.

“We pick on Norfolk about Lime scooters, paint stores, and Cogan’s Pizza… everything local is fair game. And MacArthur Mall is really fair game,” said show organizer and comedian Courtney Richards.

The group, having tackled venues like the Harrison Opera House and the National in Richmond, is returning to the NorVa, where they first performed in 2012.

“Most people who hear about an all-female comedy show expect content geared exclusively towards women,” Richards said. 

And while the comics do touch on women’s issues, the performers focus on a wide variety of content that showcases the comedic talents and acting abilities of the cast.

“We’re not ‘funny for girls’,” she said. “We’re funny people. We approach things differently.”

“Though, we are cuter,” she said.

Richards was an original member of the sketchy comedy group, the Pushers (dubbed so for their envelope-pushing humor) back in 2005. It started as a handful of Old Dominion University students who went on to create the Push Comedy Theater. The Panties in a Twist show is sponsored by Push Comedy Theater.

“We do have to fight against a societal role of what women should be,” Richards said. “Here, we get to push ourselves to get loud, get zany, get wild. We are the proudest when we shed the learned inhibition to be quiet and we can really go all in.”

This year’s show will be the second for West. West, like many of the cast members, began as a student at Push Comedy. 

“When it comes to comedy, nothing should be off-limits. But I do think it’s important to have the right voices out there,” she said. 

“It’s really nice to have a place to hear a woman’s voice in comedy. It’s different than a man’s voice in how we talk about our experiences or social issues or politics. It’s not always something you hear every day.”

While West was workshopping one of the scripts for the Panties show, she said several men said some of her jokes were offensive or should be off-limits. Women found the same jokes funny and relatable, West said. 

“That’s why it hits,” she said.  “Because it resonates.”

Panties in a Twist opens at the NorVa Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online through the NorVa or in person at the NorVa’s box office on Fridays from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. 

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