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Obsessions

UCB's Clarke and Klausner unfurl scattershot observations and guests in monthly show.

Pictured: Julie Klausner (top) and Jackie Clarke.

In “Obsessed,” a pop-culture comedy show presented periodically by Jackie Clarke and Julie Klausner over the past year, the duo go through a rapid fire series of quips aided by a slide show, in something like a scatter-brained “Best Week Ever” episode.

It’s only when Clarke and Klausner get into more conceptual comedy that their show really takes off. The guests seen at their August 9 performance, Mandy Stadtmiller and Leo Allen, were hit or miss in their free-form versions of stand-up sets that were closer to just storytelling.

Stadtmiller, a blogger and New York Post columnist, delivered rambling tales of her overly charmed career in journalism, with just one mildly amusing tale of taking acid when she was supposed to be covering a music conference. Leo Allen, a former SNL writer, was a bit more focused and did hit the mark with a story of getting nauseous in the audience of a school play from smoking pot.

Although one of the duo’s better bits required a lot of explanation, it paid off with their video parody of a 1980s soap actress who had a series of self-help videos, first showing a clip of one to precede their own parody of it. In their version, Clarke steals the show from Klausner’s recitation of some of the actress’ typical dialogue by falling off a medicine ball repeatedly in a workout and making odd comments here and there.

It was really the show’s finale that was the highlight, as the duo presented an interpretive dance while video screens played all manner of anachronistic and impossible tidbits of their own personal histories … such as Klausner giving birth to Clarke in 1957, and that they had a 17-year falling out before reuniting and then living together on the Upper East Side … of Staten Island.

While some of Klausner and Clarke’s rapid fire commentary is amusing, more so when they rip something than when it’s a catalog of “I love this” and “I love that,” and they do hit some high points in their own material, the edition seen at this performance ended up a bit uneven, and the guest segments contributed to that. For a show that runs about once a month, it could use more thought.

Julie & Jackie: “Obsessed” returns to the UCB Theatre on September 13.

  

   

     

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