Sharp Dressed Men
PIT improv group debuts with wholesome scene constructions, plus some
By Cristina Merrill / Jester correspondent
Improv Theater group Gentlemen Party shed their suit jackets but
remained dapper in trousers, dress shirts and ties as they performed
improv comedy at the theater Dec. 11 in a show that refrained from
gross-outs and drew on Americana for its topics.
The audience’s suggestion word, “cow,” fed the group’s middle America
topics, as members Billy Domineau and Mike Spence launched into a piece
where they played professional baseball agents. Domineau begs Spence to
let him sign his donkey. But Spence refuses. “This donkey and his 88 per
mile curveball is all I’ve got,” he said.
one of the best skits of the night, Spence takes castmate Nick Packard
out on a cow tipping date. Spence threatens to punch the cow. Packard
does not want Spence to punch the cow, but admits he would be kind of
excited if he did. In a further effort to flaunt his masculinity, Spence
shoots the cow, much to Packard’s horror. Enter Gentlemen Party’s fourth
performer, Andrew Farmer, sporting a country accent and wailing over the
loss of the family cow. “She’s our only source of food and money,”
Farmer yelled, while Packard is crying. “She was pregnant with a calf,”
Farmer continued, adding to the tragedy.
Asking the audience for a number, and getting the number 115, the Party
men looked to the 115th page of a Sky Mall magazine, which featured
sleep masks. The performers took a metaphorical approach to masks, with
Spence and Farmer launching into a short skit in which they rendezvous
at the Chili’s To Go section after meeting online. “I have to be honest
with you,” Farmer told Spence. “It’s in my profile.” After they have
sufficiently creeped each other out, one of them is offered steak fries
as a reward for “taking a chance.”
With Farmer as their professor, Mr. Clancy, the Party men performed a
skit in which Farmer “disappears” into cyberspace. “You just ran out of
the classroom,” Packard said. The students Farmer left behind implore
him to teach them about the reproductive system. Domineau, apparently,
needs no instruction in that area. “I don’t know why you get so many
girls,” Spence said to Domineau. “You don’t say anything. Ever.”
Domineau smartly responded with silence and a pointed stare.
Gentlemen Party gives audiences a reason to cheer. The performers own
their name. Like true gentlemen, they give each other the time and space
to be funny, and they manage to be funny without resorting to the
grotesque, aside from the dark action of the killing of the cow. Their
silly humor and charm made for a pleasing and interesting show.