Tuesday, July 24: Harold Night/The Current

I didn’t set out to watch six harolds and then an advanced study harold performance but that’s sort of how things shook out for me last night. 

I didn’t take notes but i’ll tell you what, Sandino deserves that anchor slot just about as much as they deserve a weekend slot—if ever one comes available. Some members of the Current were doing a hosting bit right before Sandino came on and i’m not sure who, but someone spilled beer all over the place. As you well know, Sandino comes out with massive energy and generally jumps around the stage for like 15 seconds before eliciting a suggestion. Due to the spill, two things happened. One: Sandino re-entered once the spill had been mopped up. Two: Sandino went with NO SUGGESTION. Baller. After doing a complete harold, similar to The Stepfathers rewind set during DCM14, the team exited the stage once more to re-enter with their music, only this time, instead of taking a suggestion Gulya just called the edit. It was pretty awesome and i’m sorry if you missed that. 

The first half of harold night was pretty solid. Johnny Romance and Bucky seem to be meshing perfectly. I liked that Johnny Romance did a living room opening, I thought they generated a lot of fun scenes, which emerged from Matt Starr’s story about his parents’ worst fight ever…over pillows. Bucky felt fun and very physical and it was nice to see Beth Appel back on stage. Surfing was solid. Karin Hammerberg and Tom Levin  (what??) I mean, Matt KLINMAN play the best drunk brunchers in town. Dan Hodapp’s character work as Mr. Bic—the pen magnate along with Tom and Murp as Sharpie and Papermate were each awesome in their own right as well. Natasha Vaynblat. How do you type that kissing sound chefs often make? Perfecto. Fits this team like a glove and is out there making MOVES, son! All in all, pretty great, across the board.

It gets better though, the second half gets much better! In my humble and honest opinion, Good Girl is the team to watch right now and for more than a few reasons. One. Their group mind is obscene. Some of the moves that happened last night, I’m still scratching my head. Someone says something like, Jumanji to heighten a father’s wine cellar security and instantly everyone starts creating that reality as James Dwyer swings across the stage while Noah Forman and Riley all provide support.  

Two. They have Casey Jost. Alright, fine, that’s not my real number two. But they seem to heighten and expand games like nobody’s business.

Three. They are technically sound. They aren’t jokey. They aren’t going for cheap laughs. They are just owning the bloody harold.

Four. They are genuinely having fun.  

Five. They listen to the small details. There was one of those five-second second beats yesterday. It originated from the fact that Dwyer, the father of the girl who’s name—Becky Something or other, was scrawled across a urinal trough and referred to her as a cum-dumpster. The reason he knew was that he read her boyfriend’s journal. Second beat. James is reading a journal, being narrated by Jost from the backline. Bluvband enters, HEY MAN, WHY YOU READING MY JOURNAL. Insta-edit. Fucking classic.  

The Pox were pretty interesting. Laura Grey called the edit. They did (and generally do) a lot of character stuff, I feel. Jordan Klepper as a garbage man poet was epic. I was extremely pleased that Langan decided to make the second beat active, putting Klepper in a place to read poetry at a speak-easy or something like a Busboys and Poets. Grey broke the fourth wall and did some weird shit with Old Spice deodorant during this timeframe. Brian Glidewell stood out as being extremely supportive and just going with what he was given. I forget the character now, but he had an answer for everything but was finally stumped at some point and i enjoyed that too. 

Sandino. See above. I’ve already hit Sandino pretty hard. Funniest harold i’ve seen in A WHILE. Glad I stayed and got to witness it. Sad I didn’t take actual notes because my short term memory is really shitty, I’m suddenly realizing.  

The Current - Jordan Klepper’s Advanced Study Performance Class. If you haven’t seen this, go see it, you may have just one more chance to do so, and I strongly urge you to catch it. I was pleasantly surprised by the attendance at the show—it’s well attended!! Without ruining it for you, just know that audience members get to read clips from newspapers ranging from the NY Times to the NY Post. Sections of various papers are handed out at the top of the show and then whenever performers feel like it’s time for a new suggestion or a new piece of news rather, they ask for it.

Outside of this being a really fun cast i get the sense that Klepper isn’t a man who cares for jokes. Last night whenever someone initiated with what seemed like a joke or a joke-y premise, the scene was edited. I’m talking, no opportunity for a response, just an immediate edit. 

Along those lines, some of the news that was selected was great and you could tell improvisers were chomping at the bit to get a chance at it. Case in point: Shaun Diston. An audience member read something about Danny Devito alone in a London hotel room. He destroy the scene and it was nicely supported. 

That’s it for now.