Sketch comedy group Lenny Dee opened their winter show “Dee by Lenny for Lenny Dee” last night in Little Nourse Theater and will continue to run Friday and Saturday nights. Ten minutes before the show started the seats were nearly full, and eager audience members began to file into folding chairs place on the side of the stage.
If audience members entered the theatre feeling less than enthused about the prospects of watching the comedy show, their attitude was likely turned around after spending only a few minutes in the energy-filled room.
Dee pumped loud, bubbling pop favorites such as “Love on Top” and “I Want You Back,” insuring that the audience would be excited for the show to start. One audience member commented, “They’re already winning on the music front.”
They began the show with a series of bright, snappy sketches punctuated by suspenseful snare-drum cadences—heightening the audiences’ anticipation for the meat of the show. The opening series was woven together by a few repeated storylines, adding some steadiness to the seemingly random amalgamation of plots. Audience members clapped, whistled, and guffawed, keeping the energy high.
The evening started out strong with veterans Laura Levitt ’17 and Brady Soglin ’15 leading a sketch that addressed pressing questions such as, “are dinosaurs real?” and “should geology and religion mix?” However they were soon eclipsed by Gracie McNeely ’15 with her hilarious audition for the role of Liesel, from The Sound of Music; McNeely hit every note and quickly won over the audience.
Later, McNeely nailed it again with a cringe-worthy satire of a serialized radio version of Fifty Shades of Grey, leaving the audience gasping for breath with her comically serious investigation into the mysterious sex lives of protagonists Anastasia and Christian.
Lenny Dee wrote a carefully cultivated script, and knew their audience well. Although they took some risks with sexually provocative jokes, they never crossed the line into what Carls might interpret as politically incorrect, or insensitive. Perhaps they could have gambled a few more jokes, but the reviewer cannot complain of their tasteful and tactful humor.
Dee excelled in captivating the audience’s attention and filling their laugh quota with their short sketches. However, when they added variety to the show with longer scenes, the audience’s laughter dwindled and energy fell. They always managed to re-gain momentum, and the house’s energy never stayed low for long.
Like in the opening, Dee gave their show, which by nature of the genre is generally fragmented, cohesion by including several repeated jokes. Although their poking fun of Barnes and Noble started out strong, nailing the campus attitude towards the company, by the end its Nook jokes fell a little flat.
On the other hand, the repeated storyline of a father, executed perfectly by senior Izaak Sunleaf, who reads his children obituaries before bed in order to punish them, hit the mark each time, shocking the audience into fits of giggles.
Lenny Dee’s cast was strong,and chemistry between members strengthened the show. Perfectly timed music and lights gave the audience more to enjoy than just the promised comedy. Don’t miss this quick paced show—it’s sure to keep you warm on these cold Minnesota nights.