Wednesday, October 12, 2005

All writed out: DC Review

I'd like to write something really beautiful and profound here, but I'm all writed out at the moment. I just wrote a Divine Comedy review. I'm bracing myself for the feedback at divinecomedy.net, but I thought I'd share it with you. Feel free to agree or disagree. Or just apathy. Apathy is good.


Disclaimer: I wrote this before reading everyone else’s comments, so my apologies if I overlap/step on toes/whatever.

Divine Comedy review

The beginning of a new school year means new Divine Comedy members, but this year it seemed like almost an entire new cast, with only four returning cast members—and one of those, Taylor, has less than a year’s credit to her name. It was with nervous anticipation—okay, actually wild and crazy excitement—that the crowds waited outside 151 TNRB on October 7 and 8, 2005 to see Divine Comedy: The Next Generation.

For those of us who have followed DC through the years, we weren’t disappointed. DC offered up a brilliant show with a cast to match. Perhaps the best surprises of the night were Mary and Taylor, two returning cast members who have matured as performers. Both had their scene-stealing moments: Mary with her “Communist Rhetoric” and Taylor as Charly in “Charly and the Chocolate Factory.”

Each of the new cast members brought their own style and talent to the show, creating a new dynamic for DC. It was refreshing to see the “straight man” role that was often Peyton’s, being filled by Hillary. That being said, I would like to see Hillary a bit—what’s the word?—louder at times. Trevor seems to have a darker sensibility that may or may not play well for date-happy DC goers. Jono was entertaining to watch in “Bourne EFY” and as one half of the Oompa-Loompa singing sensation. Paul’s “Spiritual Crocodile Hunters” was a good idea, but I would have liked to see the sketch taken a step further—I’m also excited to see what else Paul can do on stage. Matt is another new member I’d like to see take on more of a central role in some sketches—he was a strong, consistent supporting member, but other than his well-delivered “Creamery Can” solo, didn’t seem to be used as much. Lisa had a lot of energy the whole night, which was impressive since I was at the 10:00 on Friday—I wonder if she was able to keep it up through the Saturday shows. Lisa, don’t burn out on us. It’s okay to take it down a notch sometimes. Oh, and “Boys Will Do It for You” was stuck in my head all weekend. I hope we get an encore performance in December’s show.

I’ve been saving Will and Joel as a nice little segue into talking about the actual sketches. “Freshman in the Night” was a great opener, reminiscent of “I Will Be Your Missionary,” with Will ready to romance all of BYU and then some. Will is great in these roles. . . but I’ve seen him do more (remember “Pantalones”?). I hope we get to see how versatile Will is in comedic acting, rather than just the ultimate Latin lover.

One thought about “Freshman in the Night”: I took issue with one line—“I was just ten feet away, stalking your girlfriend like she was prey.” I know this is an easy laugh at BYU, but should it be? RMs after freshman is a common theme of DC sketches, but “stalking like prey” isn’t something we should be laughing at. It’s not that I’m thinking “Oh, stalking is bad.” It’s the mentality. While I think DC can provide strong social commentary, I don’t think this song succeeded. It was actually kind of creepy.

The easiest thing to compliment Joel on would be his Willy Wonka—which was brilliant. But he was a strong performer throughout the show, with my favorite being “And?” and the bus stop sketch. It’s nice to see such a strong performer in a supporting role, and providing just enough to the sketch to really make Mary and Will’s performance entertaining.

I’m going to skip over “Spiritual Crocodile Hunters” (see comments on Paul) and “Western Family Brand” (which I didn’t find that funny except for the nod to West Side Story), and quickly look at “Conference Protestors.” This was hilarious. Hillary was excellent, and the sketch went just far enough without crossing the line. I particularly enjoyed the “I’m not touching you” conclusion. This is what I meant when I said DC can provide strong and important social commentary.

I enjoyed “So You Think You Can Street Fight”—particularly the judge’s comments and the cat fight. Lisa was excellent as the host. Paul and the dog were funny and just unnerving enough. This was one of a few sketches, however, that seemed to missing a punchline. I almost wish the lights had gone down on Will’s final pose—an image that will never leave my mind. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

“Elementary, My Dear Mr. Teacherson” was classic. I’m hoping this is a character we’ll get to see Trevor play again. And Will as a crybaby—Matt escorting him out—were they holding hands? Either way, classic. I already said that.

I’m looking at the list and realizing I still have a ways to go and I doubt anyone is still with this review. No matter. “Signs,” “BYU Buildings,” and “Communist Rhetoric” were some of my favorite Divine Comedy sketches ever. I think everyone knows why, but if you’d like me to explicate, say “aye.” “Road Trip” and “Sweet Pants” were both good strong, entertaining offerings (loved the uPod). “Mr. Nintendo”. . . well, I’m not a video game enthusiast. My sister’s boyfriend had to explain that one to me. But it did seem to go too far with the stereotype.

The parody was well done. Very well done. Perhaps one of my favorite to date. I already acknowledged that Joel as Wonka was brilliant, but it wasn’t just that. The sketch was well written and integrated BYU culture with the mood and themes of the movie. I was glad to see some of the elements of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” pulled in as well. And when Mary and Jono came out in full-Oompa Loompa attire—I have never laughed so hard. Ever. In my life.

All in all, an excellent show. I’m looking forward to November. Thank you, Divine Comedy.

2 comments:

Master Fob said...

I have never seen Divine Comedy and now I really want to. That is all.

Wuvuu! (Not a cute come on; just the word verification.)

editorgirl said...

You should come with in November. And when I say "you," I mean "you and Foxy."

 

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