Staff Writer Jake Torres attended Latenite’s Spring Anthology on Friday, April 22nd at 11 pm in the Lerner Black Box.
Since attending Latenite last semester, I have been patiently awaiting their next performance, and it did not let me down in the slightest.
For the unfortunate unaware, Latenite is a student-run sketch comedy and theater group that prepares an anthology each semester containing a series of sketches that will hit many Columbia students close to home. This semester’s anthology had 7 clever, 200-iq, sketches: Philosophy 1001, Tying the Garlic Knot, Garbage State, Agendered and Indefinite, Your Parents Divorce: The Musical, Chuck E. Cheese, and Drug Safety 101.
Philosophy 1001 was a short sketch of what I imagined LitHum and CC classes to be like as a SEAS kid and what University Writing felt like for me. Tying the Garlic Knot follows an Italian couple learning the dark secret of tying together their families and their favorite pizza restaurant resulting in a Romeo and Juliet-esque tragic end. Garbage State brought back memories of doing the wobble every other weekend in 7th grade at Bar/Bat Mitzvahs.
Agendered and Indefinite was a spectacle about love and meaning and had the whole audience laughing the whole marathon runtime. Your Parents’ Divorce: The Musical turned a solemn event into a dance number that spoke to the reality of the situation. Chuck E Cheese discussed what true love really meant and spoke to why we all really wanna go back to Chuck E Cheese. Drug Safety 101 was a wild fever dream about a girl expanding her horizons and reaching temporary euphoria.
This semester’s anthology, like last semester’s, was brimming with creative and well-thought-out sketches. The directors and writers clearly had as much creative freedom as they desired, shown by some of the most random events made into hilarious skits. Because of the creative freedom in the writing of the sketches, there were a lot of references that went over my head this time that my friends discussed after the show, such as references to the TV series Euphoria during Drug Safety, which resulted in several moments of confusion for me. The sketches had a lot of space for you to put yourselves in the actors’ shoes, especially Agendered and Indefinite, which had many situations at least one person in the audience could relate to, and possibly Chuck E Cheese if you are into people wearing mice costumes — though who isn’t?
Once again, like last semester, the lighting during the performance was a key part of the line delivery with the lights dimming and focusing on actors as they spoke profoundly, especially during Tying the Garlic Knot, as the lights would dim as each family member spoke their mind revealing background information and intense emotions. Having more scenes with intense lighting and internal monologues is something I’d like to see more of in the future. It seemed like this semester there were on average as many if not more actors performing at the same time, yet all of them were able to stay in character or move in sync with the other actors which was awesome to see and a feat for the directors!
Some of the stand-out actors were Sydney Johnson, Prem Thakker, Jordan Kinard, Natalie Najar, Posey Cohen, Hannah Karsting, Eliza Heith, Sarah Slavkin, Henri Vrod, and Anand Chitnis. Sydney, Prem, Jordan, and Natalie killed it during Tying the Garlic Knot, you could really feel the emotional weight of the situation on everyone’s mind, especially Sydney who put her everything into the role.
Posey, Hannah, and Eliza beautifully pulled off turning Your Parents’ Divorce into a musical, especially with the delivery of the final line sealing the fate of their child to 15 years of therapy. Sarah, Henri, and Anand beautifully pulled off the love triangle between the charming Charles E Cheese and the couple bringing many of the audience’s fantasies to reality. Henri was clearly emotionally distraught in deciding between his wife divorcing him or continuing his enticing affair with curvaceous Charles, and in the end, I think we would all agree with his decision.
The Spring 2022 Latenite anthology was another creative masterpiece; all the sketches were hits and executed really well and had the audience non-stop laughing. Every Columbia student should attend a Latenite performance at least once during their time as an undergraduate to experience a performance that is able to relate to everyone in the Columbia community. Sadly, this review will be released after the last Latenite performance had already happened but I recommend keeping up with the Latenite instagram so you can buy tickets early for their performance next semester (they sell out really fast, understandably so). I am looking forward to trying to visit the drunk show next semester!
Philosophy via Jake Torres