Taking over the University’s Edison Theatre for a single night, the company gave us their take on the vagaries of the workaday world in comedy sketch and song.
The five-member acting team of Peter Brown, Xander Chauncy, Ariel Page, Brooke Wilson, and Mick Bonde, all good actors and singers, took focus in some two dozen plus humorous vignettes on universal themes of life, both outside and inside of the corporate office. The first number was an entertaining extended skit and song on why the audience’s cell phones should be turned off, which got things off on the right foot. Official skits for the two acts included takes on a typical day contrasted by a business woman and a stay-at-home mom, office ‘hotties,’ the nerdy tech support guy, corporate team-building exercises, les office faux pas, and many others.
Songs (Musical Director Matthew Webb) that supported some of the comedy were all original lyrics, but some set to existing melodies, and others (from what I could tell) original music. Two were based on the melodies of well-known holiday songs, and that seemed a little strange for February.
While most of the sketches were amusing, rather than outright laugh-out-loud, one of the highlights in evoking audience hilarity involved two audience members that were brought on stage for an impromptu Missouri trivia contest and takeoff on “YMCA” by the Village People.
The only thing that really bothered me about the staging was that all the actors carried hand-held wireless microphones that made everything seem rather staged (yes, pun intended) and limited as working the mics was so obvious. I would have thought that hands-free, head-attached mics would have allowed more physical acting freedom.
That said, to judge by the laughter, the audience was in good spirits throughout the night.
The Ovations Series continues in the Edison Theatre at Washington University with performances through March, 2012. Call the Edison Box Office at 314-935-6543 for more information, or access their website at edison.wustl.edu.