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Power Trio

Buffoons -- Eugene Cordero, Bobby Moynihan and Charlie Sanders -- tap a deep reservoir of energy for physical comedy and a politically incorrect sensibility for character showcases.

Pictured: Cordero, Moynihan and Sanders.

Buffoons is a show that rides on the element of surprise, a smart and complicated use of props and a couple fun character pieces thrown in for good measure.

Seen April 13 at UCB Theatre, the first full sketch of Buffoons features Eugene Cordero as a dog-like rapper employed at an ad agency who can’t stop assaulting Bobby Moynihan’s prospective client character. The situation gets more and more lunatic and frantic, and funny, but drops off abruptly, as though the trio didn’t have an idea how to end it.

Sanders reprises his Charles Potamus character, (see June 3, 2006 review of solo show), and also introduces Corey, a comic book nerd who delivers a series of non-sequiturs “Deep Thoughts”-style.

Moynihan himself gets to showcase two characters, one an apparent parody of Josh Blue, the comedian who has cerebral palsy, which might seem like a cruel premise, but Moynihan aims it more at the lameness of the stand-up material -- the joke being akin to Sarah Silverman parodying political correctness by saying “and by handicapped, I mean they can do anything.”

But more successful for Moynihan is “Mark Payne,” an African-American waiter of indeterminate sexuality with an exaggerated accent, obsessing on various scattershot things to Sanders’ and Cordero’s customers, even as he’s forgotten something very important -- this sketch has a clear payoff.

The aforementioned props include a pitcher of water and a pyramid of cups, used in the “Mark Payne” sketch, and a Jenga game Sanders plays offhandedly as Moynihan keeps calling him on a phone asking him out (cannot reveal the circumstances without ruining the surprise of the sketch, but it’s got its own odd hilarity).

All the props then give the Buffoons something to play with the final sketch of the show and the most kinetic of them all, in which Cordero gives his all and milks the idea for all its worth as the audience keeps reacting to what he does. Again, can’t spoil the surprise.

No upcoming scheduled performances for Buffoons, alas, but we'll try to let you know when they do. 



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