Mister Show with Neil & Andrew – Review

In the interest of posting this review before tonight’s late showing of Mister Show with Neil & Andrew, I’m going to keep my comments short.  That’s fitting: the hybrid theater-video sketch comedy performance lasts only and hour, and it ends before one wants it to.  The play, in the Hepburn Zoo this weekend, is a theatrical adaptation of sketches from the now-defunct Mister Show TV series, adapted for the stage by director Ele Woods ’11 (and other people–the credits, projected onscreen, moved a bit too fast).

Sketch comedy is really, really hard to do right.  I was worried in the first scene or two of Mister Show that the cast wasn’t going to pull it off; the pace seemed strange, as if jokes were being force-fed instead of slipped to the audience.   However, a fast pace seemed to help everyone (including the audience) get into stride after the first 15 minutes.  Even better, once we thought we knew what to expect, the cast gave us something new–for instance, a hilariously impossible sketch about a mafioso out to convince is underlings that there are no numbers larger than 24.  There are no dull moments in Mister Show.  Scene transitions–often a momentum-killer–are effectively eliminated by the strategic use of video sketches between scenes.  The set, lighting, and sound were simple but effective: I didn’t notice them, which meant they supported the goofy actors flawlessly.

A crisp, taut, funny show.  In short: see it.

In the Hepburn Zoo.  Two performances left: TONIGHT at 10:30 and Saturday at 7:30. Both are “sold out,” but getting a ticket at the door is usually easy.  Just make sure to arrive a little early.  Be prepared for some offensive language–just sayin’.