Director Caleb McEwen takes members of BNW- the splendid Denzel Belin and Tom Reed, along with Lauren Anderson and her stadium-worthy voice, and Taj Ruler with her wide-eyed expressions to make a funnier than thou sketch. It brings traditional characters like Santa, or Elf on the Shelf, and Frosty the Snowman to comedy. It runs at the Brave New Workshop in Downtown, Minneapolis through January 4th.
Does music help you get in the swing of things? Take the steady entrance of Carol of the Bells and thread it with improv and a few blackouts and you’ll have a very satisfying experience. A couple of distraught kids find their snowman decapitated and its head frozen in a box. Business entrepreneurs suggest buying out Disney so they can also buy out Christmas and influence children’s beliefs. A kid named Ricky is distraught after drunk a Santa tells him he never took the time to write him.
You can see how improvisation is terrific in a sketch like this one. Strange unscripted things do happen on stage. In this performance, Tom Reed fumbles on his riser during the choral anthem Twelve Days of Christmas and audiences roar, not knowing if it's a coincidence. Later, the comedic relief continues as he jumps off the risers and does a jig. Some of the sketches meander a bit. One in particular involves two IKEA customer reps taking calls from unsatisfied customers, and in another, two siblings drink and share stories of promiscuity. Both skits go a little too long but it's all in good fun.
As patrons get more and more into a scene--seeing an actor break out of character--only amplifies the hysterical nature of a sketch. This quartet knows how to exaggerate the crazies lurking in the holiday season: like the nosy neighbor who says the songs in your Christmas lights are too loud; or the holiday host who asks if her leftover cottage cheese bowl is too good for your gravy.
With all this comedy in mind, it's good to take in the atmosphere. BNW has a good mix of table and stadium seating areas. Be mindful of the construction scene leading up to Hennepin's main street, concrete barriers narrow the street to one lane and there is parking ramps on or near Hennepin, but you may think to park on Lasalle Avenue and walk the block to the theater.
Come see Getting Plowed. Runs thru January 4th tickets at https://www.bravenewworkshop.com