The 2016 Latenite Spring Anthology promised a lot, from Star Wars to viking epics. We couldn’t resist checking it out, even if the 11pm time slot interrupted a much needed Netflix session. Senior Staff Writer Mia Lindheimer was there to follow the action from the seven seas to outer space and everywhere in between. Editor-in-chief Mason Amelotte leaves a brief note at the end of this review. Latenite will perform its Spring Anthology three more times this weekend: 11pm Friday and Saturday, as well as an additional 8pm showing on Saturday.
I have to admit, I really didn’t want to get out of bed at 11pm on Thursday night. Fresh out of one midterm and psyching myself up to plunge into studying for the next one was my plan for the evening, so a little palate cleanser was just what I needed in the middle of this semesterly midterm storm. Latenite would have to do.
Ok, so it wasn’t the classy image you get when you think of a palate cleanser, but it was the perfect mix of satire, dancing, and straight up stupid jokes to refresh my mind. Before the show began, there was a projector prompting audience members to “Text the Latenite ghost”. A range of texts popped up on the projector: a nasty breakup scene, a cheerful newbie texting about her first time at Latenite, and of course shoutouts to audience members from their friends. And by the time that got old, the show was beginning.
The spotlight brightened as a viking (Mark Lerner, CC ’18) stomped onstage. Check that off the list of promises for tonight’s show. He opened the performance with a joke, spoken in a deep, booming, compelling (we imagine) viking voice: “How…do vikings…COMmuniCATE? *long, dramatic pause* NOoooRSE CODE.” Ok, I realize this looks really stupid as you read it in an article, but the acting was neanderthalian enough to get laughs out of the entire audience. And then the dancers came in, one at a time, clad in black tights, black tops, and viking helmets. There was an interpretive dance of sorts set to Enya’s “Only Time”, during which there was some viking-romance, viking human sacrifice, a viking-fairy, and viking-resurrection. With a “and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4,” the vikings pranced off-stage and the next skit began.
This one was the first in a “micro trilogy,” in which a doctor revealed different diagnoses to a man and woman. In this case, the man had “updog,” which of course his female companion was very upset about, and if you know anything about “updog” you can figure out where this is going (I mean, what IS updog?). The remaining two skits in this trilogy, which was interspersed throughout the entire anthology, included yo mamma jokes and the kind of cackling you hear from your mom when she can’t stop laughing and gasps for breaths in that obnoxious way. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, maybe you should check out Latenite to understand this crucial secondhand embarrassment you should have all experienced throughout middle school.
Next came “The Twilight Home,” which was extremely annoying, but that was the goal. If you’re looking for questioned gender roles, crossdressing, pink-haired aliens, and of course many, many, many references to The Twilight Zone, this is the skit for you. We’ve gotta say, there was definitely a part of us that really identified with the pouty son Kevin (Finola Goudy, BC ’18) screaming “but MOM you just DON’T UNDERSTAND UGH”.
The first portion of the show closed out with the extremely relatable “Bohem10n Rhaps20y”: an account of one young man’s first time out with his fake ID, and the plethora of experiences and characters awaiting him at 1020, all sung to the tune of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, of course. Shoutout to that one chick looking for her coat. Let’s be real, she’s probably still looking.
Next up: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hoe, in which Leia (Izzy Hellman, CC ’19) must prove herself against the crushing patriarchal society using the force (feminism), which was of course encapsulated in a hot pink dildo. A true epic, Leia must venture through space with Obi-Wan Kenobitch to defeat resident fuckboi Dick Vader. Obviously, this was fantastic, despite its few seemingly unnecessary scenes (isn’t that the point of Star Wars, though?).
In the penultimate skit, enter young white boy (Benjamin DuBow, CC ’18) trying to get past huge black bouncer (Daren Napier, CC ’18). His only defense: he’s literally a reincarnation of Jesus. He proves it, by knowing everything there is to know about the bouncer’s inner turmoils (can anyone say dead parent issues?). So he’s let in, because of course, he’s Jesus. And then the plot twist that changes everything, but we don’t want to spoil it for you. But if you were ever wondering how the city gets its stats on underage drinking, you might want to check out Kevin Christ: Narc Jesus.
And finally we have “The Speculaas Twins.” We begin with a simple early-2000’s-esque commercial; a mother offers her children a variety of different snacks, but what they really want is Speculaas cookie butter! It’s so good, don’t take the mother’s word for it, ask these strange and peppy bondage-bound German guys who came to prove it to you. And from there, the commercial falls deep onto the creepy side. We loved this one–there wasn’t a person in the room who wasn’t cracking up.
A quick note from Bwog’s Editor-in-chief: For those of you unable to study abroad during your time at Columbia, fear not: you can still experience all the discomfort and leather of Berlin’s Red Light District right here in Lerner, thanks to this fabulously well-written skit from Alexandra Warrick, BC ’17, and Nathaniel Jameson, CC ’18. A standout from the other shows in this year’s anthology, “The Speculaas Twins” was everything Latenite needed to be, and more. The five actors’ commendable abilities to stay in-character were the perfect complement to the skit’s dramatic plot escalations. This show had me in literal tears, to the point that I thought I would need to excuse myself from the show to stop laughing. Go see Latenite if for no other reason than to see this skit.
Overall, Latenite delivered spectacularly on its promises to be a night of wacky and hilarious original theatre. We give it a high recommend to anyone looking for some laughs or to simply get a sense of the creative talents (we’re being serious about that) of the students at our school. Latenite’s performances were all written and put together by Columbia students, and they really do a fantastic job of showcasing the genuine talent and humor of those who participate, while maintaining an extremely down to earth vibe.
If you’re looking for a good time, hit up the Latenite ghost (if you know what I mean).