Comedian Kira Soltanovich returns to her hometown
San Francisco at the Purple Onion
By Bruce Bellingham
Her “Homecoming for Kira” shows at the Purple Onion last month were particularly sweet for comedian Kira Soltanovich. You see, Kira came home again on her terms, basking in her role as local girl done real good.
The Ukrainian-born Kira grew up in the Richmond District “where every neighbor was Russian.” But she’s been away for a long time. Kira went to San Diego State University, graduated with a degree in drama, and cultivated a deep love for comedy. She doesn’t take her academic career too seriously.
“San Diego State was not a real college,” she quips. “Not if you go to class in bikinis and sunscreen.”
That doesn’t mean she didn’t have fun at school.
“I loved living in the dorms at college because my father never let me have slumber parties as a kid. He said sleeping on the floor and eating from cardboard boxes was the reason we left Russia.”
Since school, Kira has landed a recurring role on Jay Leno’s show (she’s the voice of the talking photo booth), and starred on the Oxygen’s Network’s Girls Behaving Badly. She also has been a correspondent for the Fox News show, Red Eye. Kira has won comedy competitions all over the country, and has been working in clubs everywhere.
“Female comics are a fluke,” she says. She has her heroes in the business – such as Paula Poundstone, Wendy Liebman and Carol Leifer.
“They are all such wonderful writers, “Kira adds. “My goal is to be a great writer, too.”
Does she draw on her experiences as a teenager growing up in the Richmond? Of course she does.
“I was a troublemaker as a kid,” confesses Kira. “I’d steal my parents’ car, and take all my friends to Haight Street for burritos.”
But that’s all they purchased for kicks in the Haight.
“I was a sober kid, never got drunk or anything like that. Things back then seem so innocent now. Things were not like as they are today with every kid running around with a computer chip on his ass.”
Kira also got married recently. On a slightly serious note, she defines marriage material as “someone who lets you be who you are.”
Next, Kira stars in the Showtime LOL Comedy Festival, premiering this spring.