Edmund Kean’s supposed last words were “Dying is Easy. Comedy is Hard.” This, I find to be truer every day. The Verge this month had their third annual All Original Comedy Revue, and Fridays at 8p.m. they have “Requiem for a Selfie.”
The show, which consisted of six actors, was about the comedy of the world of today. Facebook, Twitter and even iPhones were the topics set out to make the audience laugh by using improv vigorously and poking fun at technology. I set out to this event with high hopes, their ad said that this was on par with Saturday Night Live and Second City. Both of which I have seen or attended in person. Thus I journeyed into this theater located in a strip mall just off the 8th street exit, with a beer in my hand and belly ready to be bursting with laughter.
The show lasted about an hour and a half with a short intermission in the middle. Skits involving Miley Cyrus and online dating sites were performed by a mostly female cast. I have been told by comedians that it usually takes ten pages of writing jokes for every one joke that becomes useful; this show was those first ten pages. The show had potential for some good comedy. However it fell flat, and I only smirked a few times and never really laughed as ferociously as the ad implied. The funniest skit is the show was about a puppet that was an airport attendant, which had it been fleshed out more, could make a really successful skit.
I was also disappointed in the lack of audience interaction with the improv. Second City does this amazingly well and had me in stitches from beginning to end. The most that this audience got to interact was writing down, before the show, whom they thought was person of the year in order for one actor to portray in the show. Improv is very tricky to master and I know from several workshops that even if you have years of experience, it is still very difficult to execute. Probably the best and most potential I saw was in the only male actor, Mike Garverick, who delivered a very convincing Glenn Beck impersonation and handled the puppet. Not that women can’t be funny, you would be surprised to find my favorite comedian at the moment is Chelsea Peretti. I will give this to “Requiem for a Selfie” its probably the only time I will hear Jesus tell the Holy Ghost that “Dude, you made me lose my Yoshi!”
Comedy is hard; it really is. If you laugh easy, then this show is for you. It is playing at the Verge Theater until Jan. 25 and costing $12 and $10 for students. This show may have fallen short but I still invite you to support your local theater. The Verge Theater also has improvisation classes that may be of some use to hone your comedic timing and style.