Boris’ Kitchen and outside groups perform in annual festival
The lights went up on a restaurant scene. Using overly exaggerated, hilarious facial expressions, Yael Platt ’17 asked Michelle Wexler ’15, the annoyed hostess, if she could have a table for one. The audience began to laugh. Next, Dennis Hermida-Gonzalez ’16 walked into the resturant with a dog. Wexler asked him to leave the dog outside, but Hermida-Gonzalez replied that his dog was his “emotional support companion.” This same scenario went on, using other animals such as a gorilla and an elephant. At the end of the sketch, Deesha Patel ’16 walked in with Rodrigo Granados ’18. Wexler said that the restaurant didn’t allow any support animals anymore. To end the scene, Patel delivered punch line, “That’s my boyfriend.”
This was the opening to Boris’ Kitchen’s set at the 15th Annual Sketch Comedy Festival on Saturday night. Hosted by the sketch comedy group, the two-and-a-half hour show was held in the Shapiro Camus Center Theater. On Friday night, the opening acts were Yale University’s Fifth Humour and Tufts University’s Major: Undecided. On Saturday, the opening acts were Emerson College’s Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars, Boston University’s Callbacks and Skidmore College’s Sketchies.
Each group had a unique sketch style and varied cast sizes. Skidmore’s group had five performers compared to Boris’ Kitchen’s sixteen performers. Emerson’s set consisted of long-form sketches. These sketches ranged from an incompetent news reporter to three soldiers talking about the people and animals they missed most. My favorite sketch was about a motivational speaking group holding a talk about peer pressure at a high school. The talk did not go the way the audience expected and turned dark very quickly. The audience laughed the most at Emerson’s highly talented cast, which is no surprise considering Emerson’s reputation as a performing arts college. BU and Skidmore didn’t have any memorable sketches in particular, except for a strange one from BU where two cast members stated random animal facts in funny voices while eating ice cream.
Boris’ Kitchen came on after intermission and wowed the audience with various memorable pieces. Some sketches were long narratives, while others were short jokes, including a running sketch that used Jesus puns. In one sketch, a couple was dancing when a nun (Sarah Duffett ’17) shouted, “Make room for Jesus.” All of a sudden, an actor dressed as Jesus ran out and started dancing in between the couple.
One unforgettable sketch, titled “12 Years Later,” written by Danielle Frankel ’17, told the story of a couple that reunited twelve years after the husband was sent to prison. The couple forgot how to interact romantically with each other, and in the end, they discovered that the husband, played brilliantly by Hermida-Gonzalez, was in love with a mop. The scene was quirky and had lines from Beyoncé songs, which I liked a lot.
Another memorable sketch was “3 Jocks of Brandeis,” written by Andrew Agress ’17 and Zephyr Wright ’17. That sketch satirized how no students understand the athletes at Brandeis. The sketch pointed out that the majority of the Brandeis population does not understand sports. Karen Lengler ’15 stood out in that sketch as the only girl who played one of the athletes.
The most valuable player of the evening was Emily Duggan ’14, who also directed the show. This show marked Duggan’s final performance at Brandeis and she brought her all. Whether it was through memorable written sketches, such as a sketch about little-known President Franklin Pierce wanting to have his face on Mount Rushmore or showing off her comedic timing in a scene with Patel and Ayelet Schrek ’17 at a frozen yogert shop discussing the “aesthetics” of sweaters and Instagram, which showed off Boris’ Kitchen’s physical humor, Duggan directed a memorable show and left her legacy at Brandeis.
Boris’ Kitchen’s 15th Annual Sketch Comedy Festival showcased many of the wonderful talented students both at Brandeis and near the Boston area. I was highly impressed by the creativity in every sketch, as well as the different styles of each group and the performers. I am eagerly awaiting the imaginative ideas the come out of the next Boris’ Kitchen performance.