If the stand-up world wasn’t such a club of homophobic boys (and the girls who date them), lesbian comic monologuist Lisa Kron would be far better known nationally. This sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued observer of life has enough wit and wisdom packed into her one-woman show to cheer even the sourest disposition. But most comedy clubs wouldn’t know what to do with a comedian who jokes about the way straights “have trouble believing someone they are talking with is gay or lesbian.” (She tells one about an office temporary who comments in a gay-civil-rights, office, “So you actually work with homosexuals.” “Yes,” Kron quips, “and sleep with them.”) Kron’s act violates the unwritten code of post-Reagan mainstream comedy: that gays and lesbians should be the subjects of jokes, not the ones writing them. That attitude is a shame not only because it marginalizes the gay and lesbian community but also because it impoverishes the mainstream. For those willing to listen, however, Lisa Kron’s wry routines are as liberating as those of Lenny Bruce at his best. It’s not just because she discusses gay and lesbian issues with such disarming honesty and wit–though that’s a large part of her appeal–but also because she’s so free of pretensions, a rare thing indeed in this age of edgy narcissism. Kron will perform her show All My Hopes and Dreams this weekend at Randolph Street Gallery; she’ll also make an appearance at Milly’s Orchid Show. All My Hopes and Dreams: Randolph Street Gallery, June 5 and 6 (756 N. Milwaukee, 666-7737). Friday and Saturday, 8 PM. $6. Milly’s Orchid Show: Park West, June 6 (322 W. Armitage, 929-5959). Saturday, 8:30 PM. $12 in advance, $14 at the door.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Dona Ann McAdams.