Return of the
UCB’s sketch comedy teams night continues to develop
Last reviewed here in March, the
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre’s Maude Night to highlight sketch
comedy groups and give them more stage time is really paying off. Seen
again May 19, the group Stone Cold Fox has gotten better, with only one
real dud sketch this time and several pieces that out and out rocked.
And the second half of this bill, the group 27 Kidneys, not previously
seen, may not have had the peaks and valleys of Stone Cold Fox, but did
more with tying sketches together and having recurring characters.
Although Stone Cold Fox’s opening piece, “New England Tiger Talk,”
stretched a weak idea for too long, the group scored several hits, first
with D’Arcy Erokan, Cody Melton, Fran Gillespie and Joe Spellman as
couples playing the game of “what’s your porno name?”; and even better,
a Batman and Robin sketch patterned after the 1960s TV show version
except with derogatory Italian ethnic slurs sparked by the Pow! Biff!
Bam! splashes for the fight scenes; and Spellman’s masterful high energy
dictatorial boss of Snapple bottle cap fact writers.
Also, Nate Lang had a good showcase as “Johnny Rebel,“ a parody of James
Dean’s overwrought persona, ably assisted by Sean Clements as one of
several foils in the group. All in all, Stone Cold Fox has raised their
game considerably in the past two months.
27 Kidneys framed their whole set with a recurring dark take on “The
Cops Who Shot Sean Bell” taking on other tasks and overdoing those as
well. The group opened its set with a longer piece called “Hospital
Boat,” that also stretched a little long in its conceit of mixing a
hospital soap opera like plot with adventure on the high seas.
The group’s best piece, a send-up of BBC productions of Jane Austen’s
work, was anchored by Jill Donnelly’s impression of Gillian Anderson and
cleverly written unexpected obscene double entendres delivered by Nate
Shelkey, Andrée Vermeulen and others. Jim Santangeli and Chris Kelly’s
work in a send-up of bad sitcoms, “Kooky Roomies,” also stood out.
Judging by what
was on stage at this latest one (complementing its regular Tuesday
Harold Nights), it’s in the ranks of the top sketch comedy offerings in
UCB's Maude Night returns June 9 with
Mixtape '98, 27 Kidneys, The Skuntz and Stone Cold Fox.