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Entries in The PIT (35)

Friday
May212010

Dystopia Gardens @ The PIT - 5.15.10

Will Nunziata and Jerry Miller in Dystopia Gardens. - Photo: Keith Huang By: Michael Martin

Dystopia Gardens, the sketch comedy play by Will Nunziata and Jerry Miller, is a lunatic romp through the goofy conventions of neo-futuristic sci-fi. While structured episodically as individual sketches, recurring situations and characters are abound--all 20+ characters in the show are portrayed by the same two actors and they manage to keep each one distinct, despite the sometimes break-neck pace. The show has a thematic and dramatic continuity which rises above the usual expectations of sketch comedy to become, categorically, a play. It is all of a unified piece, carrying the action through to an inevitable conclusion.

The show opens with a glimpse of a supposedly better world and then, through the machinations of a scheming benevolent "Leader," the stage is set for the promised descent into an unpleasant future. This is seen in a series of sketches featuring people of all walks of life--from fast-food clerks and night watchmen, to an over-cloned Leader--a drooling imbecile played with pants-pooping malevolent glee by Nunziata.

Recurring video elements give us a peek of future newscasts. An early scene featuring a museum outing with a father and young son sees Miller playing the best 30-something 10-year-old you are likely ever to see. His spittle-flecked innocence is the set-up for a view of the dark edge which is ever present in this effectively frightening universe. The sketch between two night watchmen presents a tomorrow where privacy is long forgotten and it builds at an expertly controlled pace into some of the most hysterical bits in the entire piece. The show contains a bathroom joke to end all bathroom jokes and the whole thing wraps up with a Broadway song parody that not only brings back every character previously seen all in a four-minute blitz of comic virtuosity, it also maddeningly hints at a sequel which may either be joke in itself or the promise of more to come.

Most striking of all is that the play has genuine heart. Very little of beauty might grow in any dystopian garden but where it does, these writer/performers have cultivated it with great love. It is a rare thing to strike sentiment without sentimentality but here it is. You can do a heck of a lot worse with 10 dollars and an hour or so of your time, but if you like the sketch comedy form, or are a fan of dystopias, or want to see a comedy duo tailor-made to write and perform together, it'd be hard to do much better. Also, if you like bare ass. There is a little of that for you too.

Dystopia Gardens continues its run at The PIT the next two Saturdays, 5/22 & 5/29, at 8PM.

Tuesday
May042010

The Honey Shot

Jeff Hiller & Michelle Maryk | Director of Photography: Todd Bieber

  • THE PLUG: Don't miss Michelle Maryk, Matt Ballard, Jeff Hiller, Amy Landecker, Katherine Maughan, Lloyd Porter, Mike "The Raccoon" Shapiro and Henry Zebrowski in "Upfronts," happening TONIGHT @ 9:30PM at The PIT | $5

Wanna plug? E-mail me photo & credit. And join our flickr group. Send 10 days in advance.

Tuesday
Apr272010

The Honey Shot

Mike the Bartender at Mustang Sally's | Photo: Keith Huang

Wanna plug? E-mail me photo & credit. And join our flickr group. Send 10 days in advance.

Thursday
Apr152010

The Honey Shot

Elizabeth Blue | Photo: Keith Huang

Wanna plug? E-mail me photo & credit. And join our flickr group. Send 10 days in advance.

Monday
Apr122010

The Honey Shot

Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan are Swords | Photo: Eric Michael Photography

  • THE PLUG: Don't miss Swords & Friends (and special guests Kristen Schaal and Ashley Ward), performing TONIGHT @ 9:30PM at The PIT | $5

Wanna plug? E-mail me photo & credit. And join our flickr group. Send 10 days in advance.

Monday
Mar292010

News of the World

--Rob Lathan announced he's having a baby and he's considering relaxing his nutface in favor of more FAMILY FRIENDLY MATERIAL.  Similarly, Tina Fey recently didn't pose nude for Esquire saying, "I'm a mom. And my kid's going to find this someday and blah blah blah." What's up with children impacting our choices?!

--In what may or may not be an April Fool's stunt, UCBcomedy.com said it's relaunching its site on April 1st.  The site will introduce a new rating system that will allow viewers to add or take away from each video’s "Bucket of Truth." The website overhaul has been one of the first major projects for Todd Bieber, its Director of Content and Production who joined UCBComedy from The Onion News Network in January.

--You don't need to feign interest in Rotary Club to get on this scholarship gravy train.  An anonymous donor pledged a $10,000 contribution for the next three years to support The PIT's artistic outreach and endeavors. The PIT took this money and created the Improv Your Life Scholarship Program.  The program will offer five full-ride improv scholarships (Levels 1 - 5) and three partial improv scholarships (Level 1 only) to be awarded to individuals who are passionate about improv and demonstrate financial need.  For more information on how to apply, visit http://www.thepit-nyc.com/improvyourlifescholarship.html Thanks Anonymous!

--Mike Sacks, the author/editor of And Here's the Kicker (ACCLAIMED), has been hard at work on a new book: SEX: Our Bodies, Our Junk. It's due out from Random House in August.

If you have any news to share, send it to theapiary@gmail.com

Tuesday
Mar162010

The Honey Shot

Mary Grill | Photo: Keith Huang

  • THE PLUG: Don't miss Mary in "Joe Equals Mary" (Mary Grill and Joe Schiappa), happening TONIGHT @ 9:30PM at The PIT | $5

Wanna plug? E-mail me photo & credit. And join our flickr group. Send 10 days in advance.

Monday
Feb152010

The Honey Shot

Lucas Hazlett and Tanisha Long | Photo: Eric Michael Photography

Wanna plug? E-mail me photo & credit. And join our flickr group. Send 10 days in advance.