The line stretches down Franklin Avenue and curves up Bronson Avenue. Passersby wonder what all the commotion is about. It’s all for a night of sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. The inside space is very limited. Instead of having people wait inside, they move the line outside. To further demonstrate the small size, there are only two bathrooms inside. A single unisex bathroom and a single men’s bathroom with only a urinal. The shows often sell out with only $5 a ticket, but you can always try the waitlist if you are just walking up.
The first group of the evening is local group Private Street. Everyone takes the stage and they wish the audience Happy New Year by popping a bottle of champagne. The cork flies off and it bounces around the room with great sound effects and the actors on stage whipping around their heads until one the actors catches it. The cork then starts to pull him around the stage until he releases it and it flies into another actor like a bullet and kills him. It then flies off stage. We hear loud knocking. An actor opens the door and is hit by the cork so hard he rolls off the stage and dies. One by one, all the actors die until there is only one left. She cries “All my friends are dead!”. The stage goes dark and the screen displays a bottle of Andre. A voice of the PA says, “Don’t let a cork ruin your party! Get our new twist off bottles!” The audience erupts with applause. This scene and the rest that follow display incredible execution of hilarious concepts and fantastic acting. Sketch comedy doesn’t get any better than this!
Next up is Boat from New York. Their best scene consists of a fight between two of the actors. A third man is dressed all in black making the action scenes possible. One actor spits and the man in black carries the spit across the stage and smashes it on to the other’s face. The fighters fly at each other superman style with the man in black placing them on chairs stomach down and then pushing the chairs together. Finally, one actor says he will piss on the other and begins to pull down his pants. The other responds he will shoot poop in return. The man in black has had enough and runs to each of them to pull up their pants. He continues going back and forth across the stage to stop this madness. Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence comes on over the PA as the announcer says “And so the man in black continues on forever preventing two people from peeing and pooping on each other. So when you think your job is long and boring, think of the main in black, and stop complaining!”
After the first group, I thought the comedy couldn’t be matched, but Boat managed to do just that. Their writing and acting were just as fantastic as Private Street. These two make a great match and provided an excellent hour of comedy. Catch these groups wherever they perform next, you won’t be disappointed!