Duo of Stickles and Hale bring attitude and sharp
writing to good amount of sketch show.
Stickles and Hale.
“Even Ladies Shit The Bed,”
the sketch show by duo Jessica Stickles and Ashley Ann Hale at the UCB
Theatre, has some pieces that really come across well because they are
both well-written and sold with attitude in their performance, but has
other parts where the writing doesn’t communicate quite clearly enough
to spark reaction.
The best bits out of the show include one portion of a recurring segment
where the duo play versions of themselves, with Stickles as the smart,
hard worker playing straight-woman to Hale’s drug-addled homebody ditz.
In the second beat of this, the two are playing Scrabble online while
talking over the phone, with Hale trying to get away with long but
high-scoring nonsense words, exasperating Stickles.
And in a character sketch, the duo play Eleanor Roosevelt and her
mother-in-law Sara Roosevelt, squabbling cattily with pot-shots in
letters to each other, in a manner reminiscent of Livia Scott’s Cynthia
Falconcrest character (see review, 9/8/06), spitting out percussive snaps.
Sometimes the duo manage to sell so-so material on the energy of their
performance -- as in a sketch where each of them pitch bad inventions to
their boss, that in lesser hands could have been a bad prop comedy
routine. But another piece where Hale plays a crazy, irresponsible
mother to Stickles’ beleaguered daughter feels a little forced and flat.
In the latter pieces of the show, Hale and Stickles try an interesting
experiment, playing two contrasting characters reacting to being hit on
by the same guy at a party, with dialogue matching and overlapping at
times. It works a little better than their closing piece, something like
a “nerdcore” style rap that takes a little of the steam out of the show
because the words aren’t that inspired.
Overall, Hale and Stickles are definitely promising performers. This
show could be made a little stronger with a few adjustments, but
definitely has more humorous moments than not.
The run of “Even Ladies Shit The Bed” continues 8 p.m. Thursdays,
April 2 and 16 at the UCB Theatre.