Campus Comedy

Sept. 4 saw the first performance by the St. John’s honor theatre society, Alpha Psi Omega. Their opening week comedy show delivered laughs, groans, and all the awkward moments encountered in college along with some humorous commentary on political issues and current pop culture presented in the form of short skits written, directed and performed by members of the group.

The show opened with a skit written by Mike Wirsch and directed by Matthew Gray, depicting an angel-like character acting as an exaggeration of perky orientation leaders. This guide shows a seemingly bored, apathetic student around the St. John’s University campus, pointing out buildings like the “Little” Theatre, and things like an invisible football team. Titled “The Tour,” the exemplary writing and acting were able to portray some of the unique aspects of the University in a silly, endearing light.

Following was a sketch entitled “Baseball,” written by Taryn Glynn and Gino Gentilini-Pagonis and directed by Gentilini-Pagonis. Featuring two people trying to bond over baseball, this skit provided a comedic look at not only a fanatic obsession with a sports team but the lengths that some will go to have something in common with another person. This skit featured one especially funny bit, as one character goes on an edited swearing rampage, while Ben Kistinger, playing a university representative, replaced her profanity with more “appropriate” words.

The third piece, “The Montgoris Monster” written by Sarah Goncalves and directed by Ben Kistinger, presented an idea that many university students could embrace-the theory of a monster living under Montgoris Dining Hall, making electricity to power the generators, causing fire alarms in various dorm buildings and eating students who show a less-than-acceptable amount of school spirit. “The Montgoris Monster” was able to provide a hilarious potential explanation for several little quirks around campus.

Next was “H.O.F.F.F.,” a fairy-tale farce written by Sam Deliso and directed by Justin Philips. Featuring a look into a meeting of the “Hall Of Famous Fantasy Figures,” a panel of many well-known fairy-tale characters, including Gandalf the white, Dorothy, Alice, the Cat in the Hat and Dracula where they interview and debate on whether or not to induct a brooding, black-wearing Edward Cullen into the organization. Featuring slick pop-culture references adding to the characterization of each fantasy character, the outstanding writing and acting provided a potential inside look at what fairy-tale characters do when they take a day off from the stories.

Following “H.O.F.F.F.” was “Fictional Roommates,” also written by Taryn Glynn and directed by Caitlyn Mason. This comedic piece gave another look at what happens when an obsession with a pop-culture phenomenon becomes unhealthy. Featuring the interaction between a girl with an addiction to the popular Twilight series so serious that she made her life mimic the life of the main character in the book series and her roommates, it provided a hilarious look at what happens when “fan” becomes “fanatic.”

Next was “Becoming Terrance,” a politics-infused sketch written by Mike Wirsch and directed by Dylan Frisina. Featuring a snowman narrator telling the story of a straight boy born in a society the opposite of our own where same-sex couples are the norm. In a twist on current society, he “comes out” as straight to his un-accepting parents. Although the skit did have a political message, the hysterical writing and well-executed acting are enjoyable no matter what your political views.

The final skit was “Undone.” Featuring the altercation between two roommates and the girlfriend of one of them following an…awkward encounter, the creative writing and direction by Keith Plokhoy made the sketch both hilarious and cringe-worthy at times.

Alpha Psi Omega started a strong season with this extremely enjoyable night. With topics ranging from poking fun at the University to humorously lampooning pop culture figures, the theatre troupe presented a truly hilarious night and hopefully will continue to impress.