Last Friday night I went to ComedySportz in downtown Indianapolis to see the “FaceTweet Finale” show by Three Dollar Bill Comedy Company. This was a “best of” show. 3$B has been performing their original sketch comedy pieces based on current events during the late night slot at ComedySportz every Friday for six months now.
I have been several times. 3$B’s odd, often dark and wacky sense of humor appeals to me, even when it makes me groan instead of laugh. I also admire the company’s commitment to developing at least one new story per week.
The “FaceTweet” collection is built around the phenomenon of online social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The final show was very tight, very funny. I could hear people in the audience saying “Yes!” and “Oh, I love this one!” at the beginning of their favorite sketches.
I was there to hear company member Claire Wilcher sing. I had missed the week that she did her spoof of Susan Boyle’s fifteen minutes of fame, but ironically enough, I had heard about it on Facebook. Susan Boyle, in case you don’t already know, is a woman who is not conventionally attractive but who impressed the judges and the world with her powerful singing voice on a British talent search show on television a few weeks ago.
Claire revisited her Susan Boyle impersonation Friday night and added a verse at the end to update the story: Susan came in second at the next round of competition on the TV show and then had a nervous breakdown. This in itself is not funny, of course, but Claire’s spin on it was. And, as always, it was a treat to hear her sing.
The guys in the group seemed especially “on” or “in the zone” or whatever on Friday night, too, which was another treat.
An unexpected bonus to the evening was the fact that Scot Greenwell and Jim Lucas each asked if they could sit with me. I enjoyed talking with them about their theatre work during the intermission.
Jim is directing a show called “The Stetson Manifesto” for the Indy Fringe Festival in August. He mentioned that the cast includes Carrie Fedor. She has been a hoot in everything I’ve seen her in.
I asked Scot, “So your character is God, right? The Telegram Delivery Boy is an aspect of God.”
Scot said, “God, the Devil, I don’t know if the playwright had in mind for him to be either of those, although people have told me they see the character as one or the other. I created my portrayal of him based around two of his lines: ‘That is what happens when people stop paying attention’ and ‘I am what happens when people don’t care.’”
The lines of our conversation here are not direct quotes, but Scot did give me permission to share the content of it. The lines from the play are quoted exactly because a little bird gave me a copy of Steve Yockey’s script. (Yay! Thanks again, little bird!)
It was fun talking to Scot about his character and about the “Octopus” show in general. I am not sure why, exactly, the piece resonates with me so deeply, but the third time I saw it, I started crying the moment we joined Andy at the bottom of the ocean and continued crying until the end.
Three Dollar Bill makes me laugh instead of cry, but I would like to see more of their work, too. Both kinds of catharsis are important. According to the press release that producer Will Pfaffenberger sent me, 3$B will be traveling to sketch festivals and performing at benefit shows this summer. They will return to The ComedySportz Theatre for their fifth full revue (collection of connected comedy sketches) on Friday August 7, 2009. You can sign up for an email reminder via their website: www.threedollarbillcomedy.com.
Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com
PS – The visual to go with this post was created by Will Pfaffenberger.