Last night, I saw GayCo, Pangea 3000 and Kerpatty.
While not a full blown critique, here are some of my thoughts.
GAYCO - Talented bunch, under rehearsed. GayCo is smart and funny. Their show last night took the form of an anti-gay marriage rally. It's difficult to sustain an entire show like that and they struggled with it. They probably would have benefited with cutting away to scenes and having the rally thread through the show. As it was, it hit a wall about twenty minutes in and took awhile to recover. Too many scenes didn't have an out and relied on a character flipping out and being dragged off. And for GayCo, there wasn't a lot of subtlety. There are some wonderful laugh out loud moments. A bit where two ex-gay men who are now just two hetero roomies was a blast. They demonstrated how they go out to bars and pick up women with one of them being a flamboyantly dressed and literal wing man. The show needs some editing and polish, but was the best written show of the evening.
PANGEA 3000 - Very funny, poorly written. This is a case of four guys getting by on their charisma and chemistry together. And I'm not knocking that, it works very well. All the scenes, with the exception of The Brain Bustin' Beat Boys, which was a very funny educational rap, would just read horribly on paper. If a student brought them in to one of my classes, we'd have words. But these guys make it work because it's tailored to them and they take it seriously while having fun. And they take risks, which is fun to see. The greater part of one scene was built around a guy eating a sandwich. Not bits, just chewing on a sandwich. A very funny radio parody played during transitions, but it did tend to go on too long, as did the transitions.
KERPATTY - The most entertaining of the three. These guys are ridiculous. They opened with a lip synch of "I Kissed A Girl" filmed on the streets of Chicago. A simple idea, committed to and done well. They also followed that with the best scene of the night. A simple two-person relationship scene between two guys holding their wives shopping bags at a store. The bulk of their show is comprised of bits. Very funny physical, visual schtick. Like Pandea 3000, it works because its those two guys who are doing it.
PICKS FOR TODAY, THE LAST DAY OF SKETCHFEST
Tough Call, looks like at least one strong show in each double bill.
UNRELATED - North Theater - Aaron and Jacob Caponingro, father and tween-year-old son doing a sketch revue. I like Aaron's work and this is an interesting relationship for developing a comedy show. They're on the same bill as We Have An Uncle Dick, one of the best names for a group ever.
EXTRA RIB - South Theater - The estrogen will be flowing in the South Theater. This is an all female gang chock full of funny actors and writers. Very promising. Hot Mess, a female duo, opens, and is likely to have some awesome music.
THE FOREST & THE PUERBAUGH SISTERS - West Theater - More estrogen in smaller doses. Cate Freedman is in one of these two groups and I've always liked her quirky work as an improviser and comic actor.
HORSE - North Theater - David Devries and Anthony Ellison wrote and head up this revue. These guys wrote a chunk of their material via Robot vs Dinosaur when we did drop-in sessions. Funny? Depends on your tastes. Weird, interesting, something for you to talk about and think about for the next few days? Definitely. They're on the same bill as Off Off Campus, UC long running improv group.
PLANET TERRANCE - North Theater - These guys all work at Second City and spill their frustrations of tending bar while throngs of people laugh at other comedians in the next room into their show. Very talented group of writers and performers. On the same bill as Rub-A-Dub-Dub.
AEMILIA AND ED'S ONE MAN SHOW - South Theater - Looks like they're going for a throwback to the early days of Nichols and May with a show done in the style of comedy typically performed at cabarets and jazz clubs in 1961. Should be tres cool. On the same bill as Team Jamaica.