The Sum of Their
For PIT shows featuring Girrbach and Levy, it’s more; for Milhiser,
maybe a bit less.
Girrbach, Levy and Milhiser.
John Milhiser presented some gems in his solo show, “No Time To Kill,”
seen at the People’s Improv Theatre on September 19, in a pairing with
“Paired Up and Pumpin,” a sketch show by the duo Tim Girrbach and Alicia
Levy (who hail from the larger sketch group Drop Six,
see review, 8/19/06).
Milhiser’s best piece was as an adult film director teaching a class,
showing how he dubbed his dialogue and other noises into his movies.
Second to that was a very Kids In The Hall influenced British fop
character, for which Milhiser donned a blonde wig and nattered on to his
comatose partner, Nigel, having a lot of fun proclaiming every daft
thought and statement that seemed to pop into his head.
Other material in Milhiser’s show, a mix of video and live sketches, had
a lot of absurdity to it but didn’t always connect or resonate. In some
of the pieces, it seemed like whatever the joke of the situation was
supposed to be in the performer’s own mind, it didn’t quite get
communicated or make clear sense. Still, Milhiser as a performer has a
ton of energy that could be harnessed to more pointed effect with a
writing collaborator who has some strong sketch ideas.
Following Milhiser, Girrbach and Levy performed a short preview version
of their upcoming show that will play the PIT in late October and
November. The duo have pairs of characters, some of which are very
reminiscent of the dynamic of Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri in SNL’s
“Cheerleaders” sketches. Their patriotic country singers, seen
previously as part of Drop Six, are closest to this form.
But Girrbach and Levy do stretch the boundaries of duo character pieces,
as in other bits, such as their German TV hosts, for which Levy plays up
speaking as if she’s still a child but in a grown woman’s body. In
another piece, less ethereal, the duo play high school teachers, with
Girrbach shifting deftly to a Brooklyn accent, and enjoy gossiping about
their students to live vicariously through them.
With “Paired Up and Pumpin,” Levy fits into another variation of sketch
shows, going from a group to a couple different solo shows and now to a
duo with Girrbach. She can both dominate a stage and collaborate well.
“Paired Up and Pumpin” returns to The PIT on Oct 30 for a run of four
Friday night shows.