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Jacqueline Novak: Get On Your Knees

The gutsy seasoned comic performs her riotous, polished and playfully raunchy extended standup show that explories sexuality.

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Jacqueline Novak in a scene from her show “Get on Your Knees” at the Cherry Lane Theatre (Photo credit: Monique Carboni)

Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly, Critic

I will be talking about the blow job a lot tonight,
to a point of tedium said an early critic…
but don’t worry,

I will do so in a way that allows us all to maintain our dignity.
I’m very concerned with dignity. For example, I call doggy style…the Hound’s Way…

T.S. Eliot, Philip Roth, Vladimir Nabokov and Arthur Miller are cleverly referenced in the course of writer and performer Jacqueline Novak’s riotous, literate and playfully raunchy extended standup comedy act, Get On Your Knees that explores sexuality.

Dressed in gray jeans, a gray T-shirt and white sneakers, the gutsy seasoned comic Ms. Novak expertly paces, gesticulates and does wild double take after double take while clutching a microphone. With her soothing yet expressive vocal tones Novak confidently delivers her masterfully crafted material. It’s comprised of a multitude of classic setup punchlines, precise observations and breezy conversational riffs. The results are very funny and thought provoking. “Death is coming” sets off a somberly pragmatic rumination as there’s more than sex to her routine.

Following a blaring recording of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” Novak enters the bare stripped down stage of brick walls and exposed fixtures with a microphone on a stand in the center. She proceeds to deliver a conventionally bland Ellen DeGeneres-style set but after 15 minutes, BAM! We’re now experiencing a comedy genius recalling the brilliance of George Carlin. Her animated yet laid back presence forcefully renders her humorous observations with momentum.

Detailing her preoccupation with performing oral sex on men that began as a teenager which was fulfilled at the age of 16 instigates a superbly constructed autobiographical narrative laced with universality. We learn that she’s Jewish from Chappaqua, New York and that she’s apologetically and dully heterosexual as is her long-time boyfriend.

Jacqueline Novak in a scene from her show “Get on Your Knees” at the Cherry Lane Theatre (Photo credit: Monique Carboni)

Don’t value my virginity on my behalf.
When I never did. I never did!
I didn’t earn it!
I got it just showing up on earth.
Always felt like I was playing with the House’s money
Like “I have this virginity voucher!
We should use it before we leave the resort!”

After feeling her maiden effort at giving oral sex wasn’t working out she decides to offer her partner intercourse. This is perhaps the most revolutionary and significant sequence of the show. She blithely tosses off anecdotes about what is considered by many to be a profound event. This typifies the show’s cultural achievement. In this age of Me Too with its brutal and exploitative revelations, here we boldly get an empowered women unabashedly reveling in the everyday reality of sex fearlessly on her own terms.

Director John Early imaginatively manipulates Novak between perpetual movement, stillness, and in dancer-like poses. This combination utilizes the spacious playing area to great visual effect. Theda Hammel’s sound design chiefly broadcasts “Like a Prayer” with bombastic glory.

With the plethora of standup comedy specials available on cable, streaming and performed live, the insightfully hilarious Jacqueline Novak: Get On Your Knees is a distinctive match of a sensational performer with substantive material.

Jacqueline Novak: Get On Your Knees (through September 21, 2019)

Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street, in Manhattan

For tickets, call 866-811-4111 or visit http://www.getonyourkneesshow.com

Running time: 90 minutes without an intermission

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (661 Articles)
A native New Yorker, Darryl Reilly graduated from NYU with a BFA in Cinema Studies. For the Broadway League, (formerly The League of American Theatres and Producers) he developed, and for five years conducted their Broadway Open House Tours, which took visitors through The Theatre District and into several Broadway theaters. He contributed to Broadway Musicals Show by Show: Sixth Edition (Applause Books). Since 2013, he has reviewed theater, cabaret, and concerts for Theaterscene.net.

12 Comments on Jacqueline Novak: Get On Your Knees

  1. this is getting to be so common. I am 60 but was at a baby shower a while back when a bunch of late 20 early 30 something wives joked to the expectant mother to practice her blow job technique as it is the only way to get the father to get up in the middle of the night. This was complete with sounds and a reminder to keep a water bottle handy to wash it down. They all joined in and had great fun; I was mortified but times have changed. These were all professional woman too. I could see why an audience of young women would think it was funny

  2. It’s not just young woman that are subject to oral sex situations. If you are a woman in your 50s, if you have a few dates with a guy you meet through a 50+ dating, things going well, he often finds a way to get you alone in an apartment watching a movie tipsy on wine and while holding hands, moves your hand to his zipper to show you how horny he is, then gives you this pleading look hoping you will take the hint. If you don’t get mad you may find yourself giving in not to break the mood. Every woman has a story and this is an obsession

    • “If you don’t get mad you may find yourself giving in not to break the mood.”..damn if you give in to a man so you don’t break the mood you are playing into men’s hands. A pleading look on a 3rd date doesn’t entitle a man to oral sex! Get a grip

  3. Not just for the kids. I went with my girlfriends all in our 50s and out husbands and boyfriends expect us to act like it is their honeymoon from time to time. A lot of tricky situations and negotiations and in the end everyone should be happy. Good fun but not for everyone as it brings back very naughty memories

  4. I think it is dangerous that blowjobs are treated as a joke and common behavior as it will embolden men to exert subtle pressure on woman and it will always benefit men. Supposedly it is five to one ration with woman performing it, and even TV shows like 2 broke girls, cougar town, 2 and half men have used it in their plots. The more it is normalized the more men benefit and the more woman are forced into doing things they don’t live. My two cents but I was not comfortable but maybe I am just a prude as the young women were roaring with laughter

  5. I don’t know why, but if a male comedian tried to do the same show about performing oral sex on women, poking fun at their “bits”, etc., it would be an empty theatre and maybe the police would shut it down. For some reason, fellatio is always considered “funny” but cunnilinguis is as serious as death. Just a thought but this show is certainly drawing well.

  6. I went with 2 guys and our girls the last night on the 18th. 6 in all and very provocative to men with all her jokes but we can take it. Lots of sexy talk after over drinks. The good news is that me and my mates all got a bj as a reward for subjecting ourselves to this funny but not male friendly show. Well done Jacqueline as our women were kind of worked up by your show

  7. I went Saturday night with my wife. We met in the 70s when blowjobs were rare and most first was on honeymoon. Men thought they were “getting over” if the got one. Jacqueline Novak turns it around and with her quest for bjs left a trail of spent and week men who she dominated then discarded. A different way of looking at it but happy to say I got my first bj this century that night. We certainly looked at it in a different light and may have been the spark we needed. Very entertaining

  8. I think it is ironic that the last 2 comments include 4 men who claim they received a blowjob from their wife/girlfriend as a result of going to this show. Talk about unintended consequences as the show was supposed to empower women and diminish men. I am surprised that the 50 something women complain that the men in their life are pestering them for oral sex as well. You would think this would be handled by now but men are insatiable in this regard and the poor women seem to want them to just go away. What a show and damn this got a lot of publicity..well done by all

  9. Her Schicht was contrary to being degrading, it shows how dominant women are. After all, men beg and plead for it, the lie back in a trance with there eyes rolled back in their head while it is happening, the are a drained and shriveled mess after while the woman just brushes their hair and is not effected. It is true actually that men will do anything for 5 minutes of pleasure and women are the practical ones. I bet many men were surprised when their wives/girlfriends came home and tried it out afterwards. I know I was and am almost 70 and wife only a year younger

  10. men don’t have to be reminded of what a blowjob is. Pornography accounts for about the same economic impact as the NFL, and I remember reading the founder of “pornhub”(the largest site) said that 85% of the video queries are for the term “blowjob”. I think it is dangerous for woman to have it treated the premise of a humorous play, have it sell out with publicity and appearances on Seth Myers, then expect men to be outraged at Weinsten, Cosby, Trump, etc.

  11. At 70 I grew up when men craved Bfs but few women would participate and it was mostly locker room talk and dirty magazines. Now almost all women have “done it”, it did not kill them, and this play had mostly young and middle age women interacting with Novak about the good, bad, and ugly of bjs(of course the few men like me think is all good). It is now humorous when it used to be dead serious and secretive. A great time to be a man and women are now equally interested so maybe it is good for them too and healthy . Great job and a new era.

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