Boris' Kitchen joins outsiders for a hilarious show
Published: Monday, December 5, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 02:12
The Carl J. Shapiro Theater was packed on Saturday night for Boris' Kitchen's 12th Annual Sketch Comedy Festival. Having been to the festival before, one might say that Boris' Kitchen has had a strong history of bringing laughs, both homegrown and from off-campus, to the Carl J. Shapiro Theater. This year's festival brought professional and college sketch comedy troupes from the Boston area and well beyond.
Yale University's the Fifth Humour opened up Friday night's performance, followed by EVIL, a sketch comedy group from Chicago, that comprises of alumni Sam Roos '09 and Amy Thompson '11. Saturday night's performance included Boston University's the Callbacks, Cornell University's the Skits-O-Phrenics, Tufts University's Major: Undecided and the professional comedy troupe Pangea 3000. Boris' Kitchen was the final act both nights.
Pangea 3000 returned to Brandeis on Saturday night, having performed two years ago in Boris' Kitchen's 10th Annual Sketch Comedy Festival. The professional troupe, whose members have written and performed for The Onion, College Humor and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, among others, stood out easily as the best of the bunch. The group's entire performance came together to form a cohesive plot about a sketch comedy troupe whose members hate each other and are competing to be the funniest performer. Their seamless transitions and nonstop plot and character building earned huge amounts of laughter and applause on Saturday night. The other college troupes brought a range of laughs with their mixed comedic gifts. Perhaps the most notable of the sketches from other schools came from Major: Undecided. One of its sketches, starring three extremely eccentric singing women forest rangers, was both strange and hilarious. After the audience had been warmed up by the opening acts, Boris' Kitchen took the stage.
The comedic and acting talents of Boris' Kitchen were impressive. Each member brought unique and strong characters to the stage. Christopher Knight '14 and Peter Charland '14 stood out in the opening sketch, titled "Feline Nightwear," a sketch replete with puns and audience-planted troupe members acting as hecklers. Rachel Benjamin '14 raised some serious laughs as a sad, underappreciated elephant in a series of sketches titled "Runner 1," "Runner 2" and "Runner 3." Paul Gale '12 had a standout performance as "TJ CA," a character all too familiar for some: a community advisor who is just a little too interested in hanging out with his residents and plaintively playing them "Blackbird" by The Beatles on his acoustic guitar. Michelle Wexler '15 was a funny and convincing young resident in the sketch.
Other highlights of Boris' Kitchen set included "Gotta Ketchum All," starring Knight and Ben Setel '13, which built solid jokes off of the childhood craze of many college students, Pokémon. "Bovine" immediately followed, in which the acting gifts of Knight and Gale stood out again along with the talented Talya Davidoff '12. Knight and Charland continued to split sides in the twelfth sketch of the night, playing a prank on a persuasively upset and funny Sadrach Pierre '13, in "What if We Were Married."
Davidoff and Gale nearly stole the show in a second-act sketch. The video sketch "Temptation" (alternately titled "Lust") also starred Knight and Yoni Bronstein '13. The characters of Gale, Davidoff and Knight and their indefatigable love of cake that got the best of them truly made "Temptation." The video sketch was extremely well-received and was certainly one of the audience's favorite sketches of the night for much of the audience.
The closing sketch, "Unmilk," in which a group of lactose intolerant people in a post-zombie-apocalypse world come upon the title's dairy drink, was a good closer for Boris' Kitchen, though it did not earn as many laughs as "Temptation."
Gale's experienced and clever writing raised the bar of an already solid team of writers. The Writer's Team, comprised primarily of Boris' Kitchen members, includes non-Boris' Kitchen writers such as Philip Santiano '15 and Zoey Hart '13, whose sketches and writing credits were a part of the festival.
The festival was certainly a success this year. The funny performances from the visiting schools and performers made both Friday and Saturday night's audiences laugh. Pangea 3000's uproarious performance perfectly complemented that of Boris' Kitchen's. Each and every member of Boris' Kitchen crafted funny and believable characters, and their hard work paid off in hearty laughs.
Editor's Note: Louis Polisson '12 participated in one of EVIL's skits during the Friday night performance.