Two LateNite virgins popped their cherry last night. Check out the show for FREE tonight and tomorrow night at the Lerner Blackbox Theatre.
There’s nothing that captures the weird weeks between midterms and finals like experimental theater, eh? For those not in the know, LateNite is a student theater group that performs an anthology of short weird funny plays written, directed, and performed by students every semester. Think more like Eric Andre than The Varsity Show. This year’s spring anthology consisted of eight wacky and wonderful plays.
Also, major props to the directors. Because the plays are so short, a lot of the performance comes through in what’s left unwritten – like creative use of lighting, projections, videos, props, etc.
1: How Timmy Became Timothee (written by Paisley Smith, directed by Leo Bevilacqua)
I would pay actual money for Claire Fry to say “I don’t fuck with fuckboys” to my face. Anyway this was an insane sketch. Like literally insane. It starts with five-year old Timmy (Jared Rush) in a onesie receiving AirPODS and then emerging from the darkness wearing only Calvin Klein. This was so good you guys. There’s a moment where he leans in to kiss his date (Claire Fry) and says she’s “pretty” then pushes back her hair to reveal her lack of AirPods: “pretty POOR!” There’s also a bit about “AirPods with wires” that was really good. Basically the whole sketch relied on Rush’s insanely excellent delivery and pronunciation of AirPods. India Beer went so fully into her performance as “Babey” it was kind of scary. She had a full diaper on her adult body, revealed to us by way of a backward somersault thing. Bonus points for in-performance Juuling.
2: Snakey Snake (written by Savannah Pearson, directed by Dylan Dameron)
Snakey snakey snake snake and Karl Marx. Props for judicious use of a skateboard and creative costuming. This sketch involves a talking snake who gently floats above a cardboard bush and references enlightenment and transcendentalist philosophers. Sam Hardy really sold his snake performance with all his wriggling. Favorite joke: “Rousseau? The philosopher?” “…Obvious.”
3: Please Stop (written by Dylan Dameron, directed by Ethan Woo & Xander Brown)
This play consisted of three excellent parts, the first revolving around a big group of dancers in flowy white clothes; the second around someone getting robbed; the third an impersonation of Latenite’s presidents, Alex Saltiel (Gus O’Connor) and Eliza Moss-Howitz (Nell Bailey). The fight scene between the robber and his robbee in the middle part of this sketch was INSANE and maybe our favorite part of the night. Like, so precisely choreographed (bonus points for picking this classic Skrillex song to play in the background). Hugo Wehe and Theo Burke were WRASSLING. It was beautiful. One of us kept shouting “beat his ass”. Like, those boys are athletes. Zöe personally would watch them “fight” every day. Amara would like to join in next time.
4: Fly Story (written by Alex White, directed by Francisco Alvidrez & Alex White)
This skit involved two flies who would destroy a girl’s breaded good right before she would get to eat it. Eventually, the girl plants her inedible shoe in place of a bagel, which the fly steals thinking it is food. This sets the cast up for a great “shoe-fly” pun. After a two minute montage of the flies settling down and starting a company, Bread Girl (Savannah Pierson) comes back for her revenge. A final duel ends tragically, setting the cast up for and even better pun. Zöe really enjoyed the vigorous bouncing dancing of the two flies (Lena Kogan and Fiona Flanagan). They literally never let it up. We also really liked the use of video and strategic use of lighting. Also there’s something both really disturbing and satisfying about seeing a human being destroy a piece of bread with their bare hands.
5: Mondays (written by Bernadette Bridges, directed by Isabella Olivia & Jack Becker)
This sketch was basically a group of three office workers (Jack Harrist, Izzy Hellman, and Francisco Alvidrez) going from mindless typing to losing their fucking shit, which we really related to. Izzy Hellman fully got up in the audience and looked like I imagined the woman from The Yellow Wallpaper crawling all over the room. Favorite quotes: “who decided that Jimmy Neutron exists?”; “Tina stop hacking the mainframe.”; “I can only say the word crisis but what is a word!”
6: She (written by Emma Gometz, directed by Charlotte de Anda)
This skit lives somewhere between Her and Ex-Machina. Finally powering up his ultra-beautiful AI, this scientist professes his love to his brilliant robot girlfriend. Highlights include Andrew (Ade Balogun) wearing that dumb lanyard they give you at NSOP, and an extremely steamy makeout scene. Like, this was not your middle school production of Romeo and Juliet’s stage kiss. We saw tongue. We saw teeth. We saw PASSION. Best lines: “Sometimes I get lonely”; -“What is… genocide?” -“I love your cute little questions.”; “Will you let me make love to you?” The skit ends with a robot malfunction no one would ever wish on anyone, not even their suite’s mouse (was truly a nightmare). Favorite quote: I have a VHS and it’s super suspicious.
7: Low Blood Pressure (written by Genevieve Nemeth, directed by Emma Gometz)
This sketch was maybe the most ~avant-garde~. Isabella Olivia and Dallas Koellig got real up close and personal and then started reading James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Then Amanda McDougall and Jack Becker showed up in big yellow dresses and swimmies and like, grinded on stage. Nothing made sense until they put on blue floral swim caps; then things really didn’t make sense. The notes describe this play as “A thinkpiece”.
8: Smealle Valley Middle (written by Mia Simon, directed by Mia Simon)
This sketch’s use of The Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling combined with a party fedora and awkward slow-dancing brought back visceral flashback of middle school dances!! Good job, LateNite. Shout outs to all the choreography, especially Tommy Eldredge who did a bunch of Fortnite dances and also danced on the floor??
Images via Bwogstaff.