BWW Review: GROUNDLINGS RED LIGHT DISTRICT Provides Multiple Happy Endings Laughing

BWW Review: GROUNDLINGS RED LIGHT DISTRICT Provides Multiple Happy Endings Laughing

GROUNDLINGS RED LIGHT DISTRICT/written by The Groundlings/directed by Karen Maruyama/Groundlings Theatre/thru September 26, 2015

GROUNDLINGS RED LIGHT DISTRICT, The Groundlings' current laugh-packed Friday & Saturday night show most assuredly continues The Groundling's well-earned reputation of being one of the funniest improvisational and sketch comedy troupes in Los Angeles, if not the entire United States. Ably directed by Karen Maruyama, the evening of sixteen skits and improv pieces features the talented Groundling members Mikey Day, Allison Dunbar, Andrew Friedman, Kevin Kirkpatrick, and Michael Naughton, with effective guest assist from director Maruyama herself and Stephanie Courtney (Progressive Insurance's Flo).

Evening begins with a bang in "Jurassic World" (written by Day) with Day and Naughton as too-dumb-to-lie amusement park vendors being interrogated on their eyewitness accounts of recent fatal dinosaur attacks. Both Day and Naughton over-explain in minute detail all the non-vital information being asked of them. Great funny start!

BWW Review: GROUNDLINGS RED LIGHT DISTRICT Provides Multiple Happy Endings LaughingIn "Face Time" (written by Naughton), Naughton's face-timing his new girlfriend (Dunbar) while he's driving over to her house. Unfortunately for him, he neglects to turn off his phone allowing Dunbar and her friend (Maruyama) to see and overhear all his excited reactions to their upcoming date. Naughton's complimentary comments on Dunbar take a wrong turn with inappropriate remarks on Dunbar's breasts and snarky observations of Asian drivers. This sketch, as in all Groundling sketches, has a definitive comical ending (Unlike most Saturday Night Live sketches that can just end abruptly.)

Kirkpatrick and Dunbar totally excel as success seminar leaders in their co-penned "How to Succeed in Business." BWW Review: GROUNDLINGS RED LIGHT DISTRICT Provides Multiple Happy Endings LaughingThese two own their individual success stories demanding more confident attitudes from the audience participants (some more willing than others). Kirkpatrick and Dunbar confiscate a couple of wallets, and even a cellphone which they use to actually phone one of the willing participant's friend. Scary motivational speakers, these two, but I must add - hysterical!

As flirty Black Angus patrons in "Down in the LBC," co-writers Kirkpatrick and Dunbar get down and nasty in their trailer park seduction of each other. As un-sexy as Dunbar's costumed to be, Dunbar comes off very sexy!!!

Friedman gets one of his many times in the spotlight in his authored "Time," in which he keeps re-entering the theatre and repeating himself as in a Groundhog Day time-warp. He even gets a chance to display this drumming proficiencies.

In "Cupcake Factory" (co-written by Naughton and Day), Naughton portrays a Willie Wonka-ish tour guide of his cupcake factory with Day as his not-quite efficient assistant. When the huge doors to his factory get stuck not opening, a gruff-looking, undershirt-wearing handyman (Friedman) with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth attempts to help. Much mishap and hilarity ensues.

BWW Review: GROUNDLINGS RED LIGHT DISTRICT Provides Multiple Happy Endings LaughingThe five improv skits interspersed, with key words tossed out from the audience, had some of the performers laughing alongside the audience. (Much like The Carol Burnett Show's Tim Conway and Harvey Korman deliberately cracking each other up.) Highlights of these improvs include: Courtney displaying her lovely operatic vocals in a junkyard setting; and Day's extreme french accent totally counterpointing his butch-acting Renaissance fop.

But saving the very best for the very last, in "Abducted" (penned by Day and Kirkpatrick) Day and Kirkpatrick get abducted by aliens receiving a grilling and a stripping down (literally) that could only happen in your worst nightmares (or your best fantasies). Too, too hilarious!

As always, the smoking Groundling Band (Howard Greene on drums, Larry Treadwell on guitar, and musical director Willie Etra on keyboards) enthusiastically entertains and entr'actes the sketches, at times punctuating the laughlines within.

Did I mention GROUNDLINGS RED LIGHT DISTRICT's just too funny???

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From This Author Gil Kaan

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