Stage Door News

Toronto: Carol Zoccoli’s “How To Beat Up Any Man” runs April 5 to May 5

Thursday, March 21, 2019

From April 5th to May 5th at JCB Theatre - Second City, award-winning comedian Carol Zoccoli will be telling how it was growing up as a woman in Brazil and having to learn to fight men to survive in an one-person show called How To Beat Up Any Man

The show is about a woman who defined for herself what it means to be a woman, in spite of all societal pressures to "act like a lady". In our #MeToo era we've been questioning the way society expects women to behave, and in How To Beat Up Any Man we see a tale of how these expectations affect women’s lives.

"Growing up in a tough neighbourhood in Brazil, I had to define for myself what it meant to be a woman. And that involved making boys and men alike respect me, by beating them up - even though I’m just 4’11. I hope people will watch this show and understand that being a woman is at once complex, funny, hard and beautiful. Expecting women to fit in the "ladylike" model is limiting not only to the individual and her expression, but it limits our growth as a society", says Carol Zoccoli.

The experience of living in Canada for six years has pushed Carol to see her life story from a different perspective, one she wants to share with the audiences in the hope that they realize that, despite having different life experiences, we share what is essential about being human.

"The idea for this show came up to me when I went to a "Women in Comedy" meeting in Toronto. When they started talking about the challenges of dealing with male dominated environments, I thought I could bring a lot to the table, because of my experience hanging with gangs in Brazil. But after listening to them, for the first time I noticed the abysmal difference in growing up as a woman in South America as opposed to Canada. I didn't feel like talking in the meeting, I felt out of place. But this show is what I wanted to say to those women: that we have the strength to survive and thrive even in environments contaminated by the worst kind of toxic masculinity", says the comedian.

Carol is a veteran stand-up comedian, writer and improviser. She worked on Saturday Night Live Brazil as a writer, ensemble and Weekend Update host. In Canada, she taped TV sets for CBC at the Halifax and Winnipeg Comedy Festivals and has taped two debates on The Debaters. This is her first one-person show. She says about the challenge of putting a one-person show together:

"I couldn't tell this story in a strict stand-up format. All the complexity of womanhood, with its quest for strength and acceptance; with its discrimination and strict rules; with its ruthlessness and love… All that deserved a platform where I could use more storytelling tools. It is a funny show, a comedy show, because comedy is the way that expressing myself makes sense to me."

Carol invited director Clara McBride to help her give the story a deeper and more theatrical feature. With years of experience with physical theatre in Europe, Clara McBride brings lightness and sensibility to the setting.

"Carol's smile lights up the stage. After exploring dirty, dark Brazilian memories, she cracks a smile and I'm filled with both joy and jealousy that I did not live such a poor, hard life. Carol constantly challenges my inclinations about family, women and morality with a perspective that is inimitable and refreshing. She is brave and a natural", says director Clara McBride.

How To Beat Up Any Man is written and performed by Carol Zoccoli and directed by Clara McBride.

How To Beat Up Any Man
April 5, 6, 7  |  12, 13, 14  |  26, 27, 28May 3, 4, 5
Fri 10pm | Sat 9pm | Sun 7pm
JCB Theatre - Second City
99 Blue Jays Way - 3rd floor

 Link for the show at Second City's website: