theater breaks in two new improv comedy duos on Monday nights.
Matt B. and Matt J. Weir
By Cristina Merrill / Jester Correspondent
Audience members were treated to a funny and interesting night at the
Magnet Theater on Monday, May 10, thanks to the paired improv shows,
“Anti (life) Form” and “We’re Matt Weir.” The “Anti (life) Form”
performers did not make story transitions as smoothly as “We’re Matt
Weir,” but the chemistry between Taylor White and Dave Maulbeck --
filling in for Jared McGrail, who was sick -- helps to make their part
of the show a success.
this performance, “Anti (life) Form” had a father and son dynamic, with
White as the father and Maulbeck as his son. It is difficult for adult
actors to play children -- there is that fine line between being
convincing and being creepy -- but Maulbeck passed the test. In a
hilarious exchange, Maulbeck’s character mournfully tells his father
that his pet frog, which has died, held the soul of his deceased mother.
“Yeah, I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to get your hopes up,” he
More exchanges like this one follow, and with excellent command of
physical comedy, White and Maulbeck manage to speed on a tandem bicycle,
attempt to bring a transforming body back to life, and neutralize the
evil of said transforming body using milk.
“It’s skim, but it’ll have to do,” said White, whose booming voice and
body movements help keep this part of the show flowing.
Part of the “Anti (life) Form” show included White and Maulbeck acting
as children and making up stories, using a storybook to help guide them.
In a nod to the state of today’s economy, White and Maulbeck also
performed a short exchange in a made-up language that was interspersed
with phrases in English such as “crummy economy,” “economic recovery,”
and “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
White and Maulbeck gracefully turned the stage over to “We’re Matt
Weir,” another Magnet Theater comedy duo that consists of, you guessed
it, two guys named Matt Weir. The two met at the Magnet Theater, where
they perform on separate house teams. Matt B. Weir, a 24-year-old native
of Naperville, Ill., wore a striped polo shirt, while Matt J. Weir, a
26-year-old native of Harrisburg, Pa., who looks like an older Billy
Elliot and sounds a bit like Michael Cera, opted for a plaid button-down
The audience suggested the words “sports” and “sadness,” prompting the
two Weirs to launch into a short sports skit. Matt B. Weir played an
overemotional baseball player and Matt J. Weir played a commentator. The
real highlight of “We’re Matt Weir,” however, was when they played
various characters all dealing with the same hurricane. In one skit,
they play two fathers stuck in their respective houses, torn between
waiting for their missing children to come home and actually going out
to look for them.
wish my kids were here so I could give them a hug,” one says before he
starts to cry.
The next scene sees both men attending a hurricane party, drinking
alcohol, playing with an Ouija board and making toasts. “Hope he’s still
asleep,” Matt B. Weir’s character said about his father. “Hope the
hurricane didn’t wake him.”
Later, in an exchange between a man and a woman, with Matt B. as the man
and Matt J. as the woman, he tells her that he is not religious but
believes in God, and attempts to reconstruct the biblical story of
Samson and Delilah. “I feel like I got long hair inside of me,” he tells
her. She is visibly creeped out.
The way the two Weirs set out an overarching theme for their
improvisation made their storytelling easy to follow. “Anti (life) Form”
was tougher to stick with because of more scattershot content to the
invented scenes, but White and Maulbeck combine aptitude for both
physical and verbal comedy, giving them a lot of fodder for building
“Anti (life) Form” and “We’re Matt Weir” will perform again on Monday,
May 17, and Monday, May 24 at 10 p.m. at the Magnet Theater.