By Aaron Burdette, Evan Greenspoon, Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Silvija Ozols, and Eli Terry; Directed by Evan Greenspoon and Molly Lloyd
Part of the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, Sketch Comedy
Runs through 8.17.14
Teatro LATEA at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street
by Adrienne Urbanski on 8.17.14
BOTTOM LINE: This collection of sketches from one of Upright Citizen Brigade's in-house sketch teams covers a lot of ground. Some of them are hilarious, but some of them fall flat.
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater has become well known for hilarious improv and sketch comedy shows, and for bringing in performers who often make it big. (Amy Poehler was a founding member and Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of the TV show "Broad City" also started out there.) Stone Cold Fox is one of the theater’s in-house sketch teams which regularly performs at the UCB theater. This show celebrates some of their favorite sketches from the past six years of their existence (the program jokingly refers to 75 years). The sketches here run the gamut and cover a lot of ground with gross out jokes, political jokes, and pop culture jokes.
In one of the strongest sketches Johnathan Fernandez and Molly Lloyd (who also directed the show) play an interracial couple about to take a step towards becoming more serious. Fernandez’s character decides to celebrate the moment by performing slam poetry that calls out the evils of “the white man, the bad man” and declares his love for his white girlfriend while also declaring a hostile call to arms.
In a sketch that is revisited during the course of the show (and amusingly redone to suit the tastes of British, Russian, and Iranian cultural preferences), one man rudely farts in an elevator and each visitor to the elevator must be blamed for the smell (aside from two women who both conclude that a man must have been the culprit). When the farter meets another skilled farter, the two fall in love and the skit concludes with their makeout session.
In another particularly funny sketch, performer Connor Ratliff plays a voiceover actor who has been so influenced by his work during the elections that his ad for Friskies Cat Food sounds like an ominous and accusatory political advertisement.
While I did not find every sketch to be equally funny, I did find the enthusiasm and energy of the performers to be quite admirable. Many of the team members are so talented that they are able to make a mediocre joke hilarious. The performers are so adept at creating scenes that they are able to convincingly mime props until you forget that the stage is barren, aside from folding chairs. Each performer also displays an obvious talent and passion for performing, and as a team they really play off of each other well. I hope to see this group perform again next time I head over to UCB.
(Stone Cold Fox played at Teatro Latea, 105 Sullivan Street, through August 17, 2014. Remaining performance is Sunday 8/17 at 4:45PM. Tickets are $18 and are available at fringenyc.org.)