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Lady Parts

Duo of Stickles and Hale bring attitude and sharp writing to good amount of sketch show.

Pictured: 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. 



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