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Throat Culture and Niblets perform joint show

By AMANDA AUBLE | April 2, 2015

The Arellano Theater usually houses the Buttered Niblets’ improv and Throat Culture’s sketch comedy shows on separate occasions, but last Friday night, the two groups joined comedic forces and performed a collaborative show. Titled “A Romeo and Juliet Story,” the event poked fun at the imagined rivalry the two groups share.

The Buttered Niblets took the stage first, introducing the show and making light jokes about the less than favorable results they experienced at the College Improv National Tournament. Sophomore Niblets member Zeke Goodman suddenly voiced his concern about their comedic approach and caused a disfavorable reaction from his fellow improv actors.

“What if we knew what we were going to say before we said it?” Goodman asked.

After the other Niblet gang chastised Goodman, members of Throat Culture entered from the opposite side of the stage. Despite the upbeat attitude of her peers, Junior Francesca D’Uva vocalized her worry that since actual life events happen spontaneously, then why must Throat Culture try to script their comedy?

Goodman and D’Uva soon locked eyes and claimed to be deeply in love like the classic Shakespearean story.

After this opening scene, Throat Culture members took to the stage first. They formed chairs into a semi-circle and acted our a scene set in an “Over-eaters Anonymous Club.” The comedy arose when the members of this group soon learned that none other than Chris Kringle sat among them and complained about the temptation of Christmas cookies.

Another creative sketch that placed a character into an unexpected environment occurred when a robot named Lazer tried to learn how to be a proper lady in finishing school. However, an additional level of surprise arose when the audience learned that Lazer’s strict etiquette teacher was herself a robot. Although a well thought out plot, the props used during this sketch and the show in general were not fully developed and caused a few malfunctions.

These unexpected juxtapositions generated laughs, but Throat Culture’s next sketch was more unorthodox.

Set in a cool night club, one throat culture member acted as a waiter scouring the crowd for the customer who had ordered whatever crazy item he carried on his tray. Although interactive, this sketch was drawn out slightly too long and elicited some awkward moments.

One of Throat Culture’s most successful interactive moments of the night, however, came during the end of the show. In this sketch, a single actor moved painfully slowly across the stage as an elderly man. The audience’s confusion steadily increased as they wondered why they must watch such slow, purposeless action. Suddenly, the rest of Throat Culture rushed into the theater through the audience entrances, armed with toilet paper rolls. Throwing tissue everywhere and yelling obscenities, the members vandalized the audience and, symbolically, the old man’s front yard. The scene ended as the old man slowly looked out the window to utter his only line: “G*ddamn kids.”

The Niblets alternated performances with Throat Culture. Their creative comedy generated big laughs, especially during a game in which actors had to switch scenes between a graveyard, hospital and mortuary.

Despite their own unique moments performing as the separate groups, some of the night’s best laughs came when members of Throat Culture and the Niblets shared scenes.

One sketch featured the story of a Shrek impersonator’s unusual family life with his daughter.

A very successful sketch occurred when Niblets’ Goodman and sophomore Will Bernish joined a Throat Culture actor in pretending to be Italian mobsters. While maintaining their tough-guy personas, each of the three characters desperately tried to hide the fact that they did not know the meaning of the frequently used slang term “Gooma.”

The show concluded in an epic fashion and with big laughs as a large ensemble cast of both Niblets and Throat Culture members acted out a melo-dramatic Spanish soap opera.

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