I had the pleasure of watching singer/writer/comedian Mindy Raf perform as her alter ego, Leibya Rogers, on Saturday night at Arlene's Grocery in New York City. The act consisted of vegan feminist multi-talented live performer, Leibya, using songs, sounds, and some interpretive dancing to tell us about herself and her beliefs. Among my favorites was a love song to Katie Holmes, with lyrics like, "I'll let you scream real loud when you're in labor", a hip hop song titled "My Vag is Better than Your Vag", which was dedicated to the "mean girls" in high-school featuring one-liners such as, "My vag is like Whitney Houston way back/ your vag is like Whitney Houston on crack", and an inspiring educational song about the (mis)spelling of the word women, where she preached the importance of spelling women with a "y" because we don't need "men" in our "womyn". Her radical feminism was highlighted by her extremely long arm-pit hair (at one point an audience member requested that she show them to us, they're that famous), and her back-up man-helpers who wore t-shirts labeled, "Man 1" and "Man 2", and "Property of Leibya Rogers" on the reverse.
What Mindy Raf gives us with her parody of a man-bashing folk singer is a night that is as hilarious and enjoyable as it is thought-provoking. As we sit there laughing our asses off, we let our guards down and, imperceptibly, let her message in. The show, in turn, becomes appealing for a wide range of audiences. Proof of that being that there were people of all ages and walks of life around me, including my 22-year-old brother, who was laughing just as much as I was and found her extremely entertaining and charismatic, satirizing radical ideals so that they weren't alienating. As a result, we walked out holding on to our ribs from laughing so hard and juggling thoughts about the objectification of women and the enslavement of vanity. No small feat.
Mindy Raf has won an ECNY award for "Best Musical Comedy Act" and writes a popular college dating column for CollegeHumor.com. Watch her music videos here and keep an eye out for this incredibly funny, intelligent, and talented woman who knows how to get her messages across.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF mindyraf.com