BWW Reviews: Brave New Workshop's LANCE ARMSTRONG'S STEROID-PUMPED COMEDY REVIEW Through 6/29
The Brave New Workshop Theatre (BNW) 2013 spring show, "Lance Armstrong's Steroid-Pumped Comedy Revue: A Cheater's Guide to Winning" is the 280th comedy revue by the BNW, and challenges the old adage, "Cheaters never prosper." The four cast members come out the winners in this roast of cheating and the cheating cheaters who cheat with honest, straight-forward, biting satire and a little (?) visual gag for good measure.
Inspiration for the show's title and theme comes straight from the headlines. "Now that Lance Armstrong has shown the world that doping is the new black, the Brave New Workshop is exploring cheating and dishonesty in all their many forms," says director Caleb McEwen. "It turns out that the only person to ever ride a bike in France while not hopped up on drugs is Mitt Romney."
Newly svelte Bobby Gardner plays the title role fearlessly appearing in his bike shorts in all their glory. Armstrong's recent headlines and past doings are a thread running through the show that gives this actor plenty to fuel the comedy fire. Lauren Anderson, Taj Ruler and Andy Hilbrands round out the cast and play everything from President Obama to lying online daters to cheating spouses and coworkers who don't know what the term "spoiler alert" means. (Spoiler alert: if you're like this writer and have not yet completed season three of "Downton Abbey," you may want to finish that before heading over to Hennepin Avenue for this revue.)
The BNW News team covers the headlines of the day in a fashion much like a certain televised sketch comedy show but with more accuracy and fun.
While the show is scripted throughout, this team of improv vets include an audience member who had been cheated on in the past fill in the blanks on their send-up of country music. With a few details for inspiration and rhymes, they each take a stab at skewering the lad who done her wrong.
Audience members who stay seated get an extra treat when they go all-out, full-on improv in the late night session after the main show. Using improv games with suggestions from the audience, you see that they are not just funny when scripted; these four actors know how to think on their feet.
With the run through June 29, there's plenty of time to catch this fun springtime fair, but don't wait till the end as they've been known to sell out popular shows. You don't want to miss this one.
"Lance Armstrong's Steroid-Pumped Comedy Revue" is directed by Caleb McEwen, with assistant direction by Katy McEwen. Peter Guertin returns as music director, and Dan Peltzman will provide technical direction.
All performances are at the Brave New Workshop Theatre main stage at 824 Hennepin Avenue, Downtown Minneapolis. Tickets are on sale now at (612) 332-6620 or http://theatre.bravenewworkshop.com/.