Why We Can’t Have Nice Things presented by The Recovery Party at the Bryant-Lake Bowl

nicethings_promopicThe Recovery Party’s latest original show is about options, from having too many to not having enough, but that doesn’t begin to describe the absurd lengths, heights and depths to which writer/director Joshua Will takes the simplest interactions.

Such as “Thank you” and “You’re welcome.” Pages of it.

This is smart, incisive, laugh-out-loud satire. The writing and execution are as clever as you’ll find anywhere. Anywhere!

The wonder of Will’s writing (and the improv skills of this company) is that he can zero in on life’s minutiae, riff on it for sketch after sketch and it never becomes tedious. In fact, it just gets funnier.

And funnier. And funnier. 

Somehow Will has turned this idea—having enough, having too much, knowing the difference—into a fresh comedy vein to mine. The shows jumping off point (“the peril of choice,” says the publicity), prompted by what Will calls “the weird logic that there are dozens of varieties of Oreos available to us but (really) only two presidential candidates,” opens up a torrent of possible topics. It was pretty hard to ignore it, but in fact there are only a few veiled references to this year’s bizarre election campaign. Never fear.

Jeffrey Cloninger, Dennis Curley, Erik Nelson, Jim Robinson and Will are old hands at sketch comedy and have worked together in The Recovery Party shows and others enough to play tag team comedy with ease. Timing is everything in comedy—waiting for the audience to catch up to the joke that’s coming, blitzing through dialog when blitzing through it is the joke—and these pro’s don’t give the audience a minute to think about ordering another drink or checking tweets.

Curley augments the show’s bits of recorded music with live keyboard work, popping in music beds as sketches morph from one to another, never missing a literal beat. Special mention goes to Erik Nelson, whose scaled-back interpretation of multiple characters fit perfectly in the BLB’s intimate setting.

The show runs through Nov. 6. Take note of the time: 7:00 p.m., which gives you room for noshing at the BLB or elsewhere following the show. The place was packed, so don’t wait too long to get tickets.

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