Operation: Ease on Down the Road

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Liz, left, and Colette performing their two-women show.

Last night, Bwog’s theatre aficionado Megan McGregor clicked her heels together three times and soon found herself in the Lerner Black Box theatre watching Operation: Ease on Down the Road.

Friday night at 8 and 11 pm, Lerner Black Box experienced something unlike it has ever experienced—racist jokes, cultural references, and Barnard women galore. Wait, that sounds like LateNite. Colette McIntyre and Liz Watson (LateNite veterans themselves) truly did present an extremely unique hour of comedy, dance, and music quite unlike anything Lerner Black Box (or should I say Lerner African-American Box?) or Columbia University have ever seen—Operation: Ease on Down the Road.

Colette and Liz, both BC ’12, advertised their two women show (quite well, I must add, as the turnout was impressive) as a two (white) women show retelling The Wiz in sixty minutes. The Wiz, a “super soul musical,” is itself a 1970s retelling of The Wizard of Oz in the context of urban African-American culture. Most audience members entered Lerner Friday evening not knowing what exactly to expect, except most likely an hour of masturbatory jokes and self-indulgence. However, Operation: Ease on Down the Road was much more than that. Sure, here and there it did feel more like the Colette and Liz Show than The Wiz, but that’s because in reality, it was their show, and it was hilarious.

The play fluctuated between the actual story of The Wiz and the story of Liz and Colette’s journey producing their play. Operation: Ease on Down the Road wisely used these dual plots to never let the audience grow old of either story line—the first of which the audience already knew (The Wizard of Oz), and the second ridden with occasionally tiring jokes about and references to African-American culture and quarrels between the two women. Liz and Colette surprised the audience by occasionally having their pianist, Solomon Hoffman, CC ’14, who indeed is as cute as they suggested, and their producer, Will Hughes, CC ’13, participate in their show as characters. These moments were some of the funniest.

Overall, I was impressed with the hysterical show the two women came up with, despite its tiring aspects—the African-American jokes, the sex jokes, and the overemphasis on their friendship. Operation: Ease on Down the Road also featured awesome lighting by Will Brown, SEAS ’12. Liz and Colette ended their show on a feel-good note, letting the audience participate in their song and dance.

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  1. Anonymous  

    Bwog! Cell phone photos! Why?? Unless it's an impromptu shot of PrezBo jogging, pleeeeeease try to take photos with a real camera!

    (Otherwise, from someone who wanted to see this last night but couldn't make it, thanks for the review--these gals are awesome and I'm sorry I missed it.)

  2. this was  

    AMAZING. Liz and Colette you are two of the funniest, most interesting people on campus and I look forward to seeing more from you in the future. Never stop doing what you do!



  4. Anonymous  

    I don't know if we saw the same show last night, because I thought this was fantastic. I went to see it on a whim and I was blown away by these fine ladies. I hope this can spark a trend of people putting on interesting new shows outside of the norm. It's nice to have something beyond the same old theater people putting the same kind of shows.

  5. Lilette Love  

    Love love love you ladies, great performance!

  6. anyone  

    get the feeling it's mostly their barnard friends commenting?

    just sayin'

  7. Anonymous  

    this show was the most joyous hour of my life. i've never laughed so hard.

  8. bwog reader

    i loved o:eodtr and i'm glad bwog decided to review it but i must say that the quality of theatre reviews has really gone downhill this year--and it's too bad because this show was exciting in so many ways and really did merit a more thorough review. in terms of the writing, i've noticed the first paragraph of these theatre reviews is pretty much recycled from show to show (location of performance saw something unlike anything it has ever experienced before etc etc name a few basic plot points), while the rest is composed of sweeping generalizations (it was funny/it was moving) or unsupported judgments (tired, cliche) that don't really say anything about the unique production itself. i didn't find o:eodtr tired or cliched at all--i in fact found it really refreshing. the show explored race and performance in creative ways, in my opinion--the allusions to minstrel shows and "black voice," the use of pop music--and i think the writers/actors were more aware of their own self-indulgence than this reviewer realized (the repeated "epiphany" scene at the end, for example). (p.s.--are the underhanded comments about what the audience was expecting necessary?) the theatre community here isn't perfect but it's a lot more interesting to read about the choices they make regarding acting, costuming, set and lighting, music and sound, relationship to the audience, etc, than vague ideas about what is tired and what isn't, or whether the bwog reviewer laughed or not. reviews serve a really important role in the arts community and insightful, well-written ones that pay attention to craft are going to inspire artists on campus to bring their best. i know a bwog editor is going to reply to this telling me that if i think i know so much about writing reviews then i should write for bwog myself, but that's not the point. there are so many talented writers and performers on campus--please, they deserve better.

    - not a theatre kid

  9. imo  

    this show had the best producer in the world

  10. Anonymous  

    best show I have seen on campus. I wish they had had more than 2 performances.

  11. ummmmm

    HOW DID THE REVIEW NEGLECT TO MENTION THE WITCH?!!! Did you leave half way through?? amazing. and these ladies kicked ass. they made a real show with a legitimate story line, as goofy as it was. these girls have serious balls and surpassed all expectations ten-fold. Colette and Liz, please be my friends.

  12. Anonymous  

    Colette and Liz, both BC ’12, advertised their two women show (quite well, I must add, as the turnout was impressive) as a two (white) women show retelling The Wiz in sixty minutes.


    • Anonymous  

      Colette and Liz, both BC ’12, advertised their two women show (...) as a two (...) women show retelling The Wiz in sixty minutes.

      A very revealing point she makes. They did accurately advertise their show. Yes yes. Quite quite.

  13. Anonymous  

    "Operation: Ease on Down the Road wisely used these dual plots to never let the audience grow old of either story line—the first of which the audience already knew"

    What? the audience was aging? right before our very eyes? maybe that should have been on stage? really--what? the story line grew old you mean? but that's not really something people say. Also, in the next sentence you say things were tiring?

  14. Anonymous  

    "Solomon Hoffman, CC ’14, who indeed is as cute as they suggested,"

    Keep it in your pants, lady. He's got a lovahhhh (and his name is Steinway, and, in keeping with this show's theme--his nickname is ebony and ivory)

  15. Anonymous  

    'tooooopid review.
    tooopid. learnin to be writin de sentences.
    maybe one day i too will write bwogins review.

  16. Anonymous  

    Colette Mac should have her own tag on bwog at this point--this review, the fashion highlights (as seen on college walk), the BAHHHNAAARD video, the goodies,

    maybe the tag could just be "mac attack" or "tits mcgee"

  17. Anonymous  

    If I were not already heartbroken that I missed this, these comments would have done it. Congrats on an amazing show!

    Also... bwog reviews. Smdh.

    They've actually improved since last semester though, and at least they're pretty consistent about reviewing things (unlike last year). Fingers crossed for some freshman whiz kid to start giving insightful reviews next year?

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