Charged with Broadminded
Broadminded Comedy stages another comedy show this month as it presents Charged. The comedy team of Anne Graff LaDisa, Melissa Kingston, Megan McGee and Stacy Babl takes the small stage of the Underground Collaborative with a quick, little show that rolls quite efficiently through 19 little bits in less than two hours with an intermission.
It’s a pretty well-modulated show with a recurring joke filtered through a mix of skits that mix a bit of observational humor with a generous amount of more sophisticated stuff. The more sophisticated stuff is fun. Benjamin Franklin forms, Edison and Tesla are fun as sketch comedy archetypes. (Edison is always stealing Tesla’s ideas...) Three women play subatomic particles hanging out in a manganese atom in a sketch that’s a lot more fun than it sounds. Bits about parenting and a guest book at a wedding are among the more traditional sketch fare.
The show runs on sort of an alternating current of clever stuff with more traditional sketch stuff. There are a few interesting ricochets. A sketch about three people trapped in an elevator with dead cell phones works well on its own, but Megan McGee steps-in the end to deliver a punchline that adds some satirical depth to it. A sketch in which Babl plays a turkey on a couch after Thanksgiving is extremely brief and remarkably dark once it’s had a chance to set-in.
Broadminded has a long history. Things can stagnate creatively for any group if a little experimentation isn’t occasionally thrown-in. Here they’re introducing stand-up to the show. Each of the four takes a turn over the course of the show. Kingston shows a natural talent for working a room. McGee does an interesting bit about Myers-Briggs assessment. Babl talks sleep. My favorite bit (probably in the whole show) was LaDisa’s stand-up, which played kind of like an autobiographical pitch for a sketch in which she plays herself doing stand-up. Her humor alone onstage plays a bit like avant-garde theatre fused with traditional stand-up.
Broadminded Comedy’s Charged runs through Nov. 26 at The Underground Collaborative on 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. for ticket reservations, visit Eventbrite.com