One weekend. A dozen comedians. A dozen scripts. Kernels of brilliance. Belly laughs. Groans. Stand-up comedy. More, please!
Last night, Theatre in the Park unveiled Zero Headspace, a brand-new sketch-comedy troupe, under the direction of Ira David Wood IV. Kevin Darbro, Preston Campbell, Kat Lanier Froehlich, Patrick Whalen, Philip Kruh, Shane Smith, Robert Angelo, Natalie Sherwood, Michael Bacigalupo, and Anthony Williams got into our heads and hearts and then tickled our funny bones as they rolled through a series of original comedy sketches.
We haven’t seen anything quite like it here in the Triangle. These comedy antics reminded us of a blend of Second City, out of Chicago, with Raleigh’s own ComedyWorx. There are short sketches with crazy themes, some dark, some light, all fun.
A small sampler: Death visiting the Toreros and recommending the margaritas. A genie in a lamp at a falafel joint, and the guy who found the lamp wishes for … more napkins!?! Bags of peas sold in ounce baggies until the police raid the store. The adventures of Black Superman … or should we say African-American Superman? Well, they had better work it out quickly, because that meteor is going to take out the city!
The stage was a simple black box, but each skit had just enough props to make the set come alive. We went from a desert island to jolly old England and back again with the help of some fun costumes. It was hard to choose a favorite skit. Short sketches are great, because if one skit doesn’t resonate with you, and you are on to the next one in a flash. This night, the diverse audience of baby boomers, Generation X-ers, and Millennials were all very appreciative.
From the Department of Picky-Picky: There were a few issues with the mic being off or being too low, but these were minor bumps. In the Toreros scene with Death, we wished Death’s foreboding voice boomed through a microphone, too.
Also from the Department of Picky-Picky: It would have helped the Donald Trump skit if the actor playing him had more of a resemblance to Trump. This night, the actor playing Trump had a full black beard and a blond hairpiece that more resembled Farrah Fawcett than Donald Trump. It was hard to overcome this visual disparity.
However, these were small issues. We had a great time and had a load of laughs. The writing was top-notch, and the actors all brought their A-games! Thanks, Ira! We are looking forward to enjoying another night with Zero Headspace!
Theatre in the Park presents ZERO HEADSPACE at 8 p.m. March 19 and 20 in the Ira David Wood III Pullen Park Theatre, 107 Pullen Rd., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.
BOX OFFICE: 919-831-6058 or http://www.etix.com/.
SHOW: http://theatreinthepark.com/calendar/event/71 and https://www.facebook.com/events/853231954822959/.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xphzhBGMul4.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.theatreinthepark.com/, https://www.facebook.com/theatreintheparkraleigh, https://twitter.com/TheatreInPark, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_in_the_Park.
NOTE: All shows are wheelchair/walker accessible, and large-print playbills are usually available.
Zero Headspace (sketch-comedy troupe): https://www.facebook.com/ZeroHeadspace (Facebook page) and https://twitter.com/zeroheadspace (Twitter page).
Ira David Wood IV (director/performer and TIP’s assistant artistic director): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0939505/ (Internet Movie Database), https://www.facebook.com/ira.d.wood (Facebook page), and https://twitter.com/iradavidwoodiv (Twitter page).
Pamela Vesper has been a Raleigh resident for more than 20 years. A local attorney for licensed professionals, when she’s not in court, Pam can be found watching or participating in local theater productions or enjoying the vibrant Raleigh music and craft beer scene. She also loves indie and foreign films and was an anchor on the local cable show, Movie Minutes. Pam has an opinion on just about everything; just ask her. Kurt Benrud is a graduate of Cary High School and N.C. State University, and he has taught English at both. He first became involved in local theater in 1980. He has served on the board of directors for both the Cary Players and the Cary Playwrights’ Forum. He is also a volunteer reader with Triangle Radio Reading Service. Click here to read their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.