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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Crowd eats up Lenny Deep Dish

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The sketch comedy group Lenny Dee premiered their spring term show on Thursday night in Little Nourse Theatre. The theatre was packed with students sitting, chatting and drinking, as pop music played warming the audience for the show.

As is Lenny Dee’s style, they opened with brief vignette sketches, lasting as short as 10 seconds intended to warm up the audience. Some of the sketches work, others don’t but the quick transitions between the two keep the audience on its toes, providing a fast opening to the show.

Mocking the smell of the Goodsell observatory or the underused writing center may not appeal to a newcomer on campus. The use of inside jokes is integral to Lenny Dee, something they even admit while breaking the fourth wall. But the Carleton students are the audience, and great comedy is contextual.

Lenny Dee has a good comedic rhythm and a palpable chemistry, its sensibilities range from the absurd to the erudite. From a bizarre friend-cousin date (where incest and praise for Panda Express were recurring jokes), to a siren’s attempts to lure over the heroes of the Iliad onto the rocks.

Often sketches start with awkward or mundane social occurrences, reaching a climax in the final few seconds with a well-delivered punch line. Others utilise recognised moments in media or history, intercepted with social commentary repeated by students on campus.

The Chimney Sweeps sketch depicted the signing chimney sweeps from Mary Poppins demanding higher wages and basic living conditions. The cockney accents and signing left the reviewer wondering whether the quality was meant to be a source of humor or their attempt to mock the saccharine depiction of happy English workers who happen to sound like they are from the US who appear in Disney films.

As someone who grew up in Australia, the Australian accents of the pirates in the cruise ship sketch were very good. However, the highlight of the sketch was a parody of Robert Shaw’s character in Jaws, delivering increasingly incoherent and nonsensical stories of encounters with shark, triggered by increasingly irrelevant prompts (such as words that sound roughly like shark).

One of the best sketches was the mock dance video fascist slide were a group of dancers perform a hip new routine which descends into marching and fascist slogans. The sketch was one of the few to combine music and lighting rather than relying on pantomime and banter.

But this should not be discounted as a combination. If anything the show could have used more sketches featuring the entire cast.

The Chimney sweep sketch had a delightful interplay between Poppins and her aristocratic cares, though there was a reliance on just a few cast members, at times. It meant that some of the cast members, particular the two female members could have spent more time on stage.

But it is always good to leave the audience wanting more, and the show was a delight. The vibrant energy of the cast meant that the audience was kept enthralled, whether it is due to a ridiculous pantomime or a witty inside joke. Lenny Dee is a very, very funny show, and should be a part of any good 7th weekend.

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