by Leah Budson
“Nitrous Oxide” is a comedic masterpiece from beginning to end.
The show, which went up yesterday and will run Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the little theatre, is a hilarious collection of student-written comedic sketches.
Even the directors’ introduction of the show is a comedic sketch. The directors, senior Graham Techler and junior Jack Reibstein, begin the show like any other Theatre Ink performance by telling audience members to turn off their cellphones.
When Techler and Reibstein request that any infants that start crying during the show be taken outside the theatre, the wails of a baby sound unexpectedly. The directors soon discover an infant abandoned in the theatre, and the rest of the members of Nitrous Oxide rush on stage. A comedic chaos ensues as the cast attempts to come up with a name for the child, finally settling on Baby.
By starting the show with a sketch, the cast takes what is normally a dull reminder to turn off one’s cellphone and creates a comedy. This technique is used throughout the show as the cast performs sketches of familiar experiences with ridiculous twists.
In one sketch, senior Charlie Beers and Reibstein poke fun at the term “bald eagle.” Reibstein plays an insecure bald eagle who covers up his bald head with a wig. Beers, a birdwatcher who happens to be bald, helps Reibstein accept his baldness by urging him to repeat the phrase “I’m bald, and I’m proud.” Watching a bird deal with the same anxieties as a human is quite entertaining. The sketch earned much laughter from the audience.
Another hilarious piece begins with the members of Nitrous Oxide discussing sketch ideas. Beers continuously offends people with disrespectful ideas for sketches. His ideas are so offensive that eventually, all the actors leave, not wanting to hear him speak.
The sketch continues when senior Nicole Bunis enters, introducing herself as “The Ghost of Offensive Sketches Past.” This title refers to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, a story in which three ghosts–“The Ghost of Christmas Past,” “The Ghost of Christmas Present” and “The Ghost of Christmas Future”–convince the main character to be kinder.
The take-off of A Christmas Carol continues with the appearances of “The Ghost of Offensive Sketches Present” and “The Ghost of Offensive Sketches Yet to Come,” played by sophomore Ezra Dulit-Greenberg and Techler, respectively. In the end, it is “The Ghost of Offensive Sketches Yet to Come” who finally sways Beers to stop writing offensive sketches.
As shown by its ingenious introduction and clever sketches, “Nitrous Oxide” is truly a hilarious production.
Tickets for Saturday night’s performance are available at theatreink.net for $7.