nytheatre.com review by Richard Hinojosa
November 11, 2005
There’s nothing like going to see good sketch comedy. The genre can be so hit or miss—but rest assured that Fearsome hits more often than not.
Their particular brand of sketch comedy cuts straight to the laughs. It’s like comedy for comedy’s sake. There’s not a whole lot of political prattle or high-brow meaning hidden behind their jokes. What they do very well is break down a joke into its parts and gradually push it to funnier and funnier places. The even have their own Blooper Reel that is basically an opportunity to revisit a bit and take it in a different direction. Another great example of this pushing jokes as far as they can go is their Rewind bit where they take a scene of a newlywed game show and play it over and over, squeezing out laughs with every turn. The audience the night I attended went wild for this bit and many others.
Fearsome keeps a fast pace and uses short interlude sketches to fill the gaps between longer ones. A couple of these interludes are revisited and escalated just like the longer ones. I particularly liked the Keg Stand bit where a partier has their legs held up while they drink straight from the keg only to reveal how depraved they are when they turn around and face the audience. Some of the jokes push the edge of good taste, but to me that’s what defines good comedy.
The six-member ensemble is made up of equal parts girls and boys. (However, there is an uneven balance of penis jokes to vagina jokes.) They are all very funny in their own special ways. I really liked Alex Goldberg and Dan Zalevsky in the Girly Drink swordfight scene. Alex leads the pack in laughs. Chris O’Connor shines in the Loneliest Telepath scene. Katherine Bryant is a live wire in every skit she touches. Jaime Hayes is great in the newlywed scene. But for me, Shayna Ferm takes the night with her pure and unrelenting commitment to every role she takes on. Whether playing a dog or making out with the open air or strumming a Christmas tune to Al Qaeda on her guitar, she demands and deserves attention.
So check Fearsome out. They’re not as scary as their name may imply. And they don’t bite… hard.