Sketch comedy group Nitrous Oxide serves an evening of delight


Neria Abbimutt

Nitrous Oxide cast takes a bow after the closing night performance.

Neria Abbimutt

Laughter permeated the theater as the audience and cast bonded over priceless skits performed by Theater Ink’s sketch comedy group. Directed by senior Zoe Kritzer and junior Nate Reilly, Nitrous Oxide provided spectators three nights of hilarious entertainment Feb. 9-11 in the little theater.

“We’re here to make people laugh and give individuals a unique opportunity to perform their own sketches,” said Kritzer. 

Nitrous Oxide is student-run from start to finish, including the writing, casting, and performing processes. According to Reilly, this show is about more than the performance, “You hear about schools having improv troupes, but you never really hear about sketch comedy troupes,” he said. “So it’s really cool that North has this space to teach students skills they wouldn’t otherwise be able to build.” 

The night started with a playful skit regarding relationship signals, using physical red and green flags to delineate their opinion on what constitutes a good partner. The flags grow seemingly obscure and hysterical when analogies are made with silver and “yellow-green” flags as well as numerous other variations, finally ending with the “Costco flag” to symbolize their love for a partner with “bulk goods.” 

“If you were a family-sized pack of Oreos, you’d be double stuffed,” said freshman Zadie Besev, a cast member. 

The show was successful in many ways, including being a safe space for the cast. “It was great having a community that I could rely on no matter what,” said Kritzer. 

An audience favorite was the three-part sketch sequence, “Stay Safe,” performed by Reilly, playing Usher “Stay Safe” Winslow the Third, and Freshman Will Hartzog playing Todd. The two play best friends who undergo unthinkable stunts and teach the audience extreme self-defense strategies. However, their beloved relationship is tested in the second part when Todd reveals that he is tired of always being the guinea pig. The two argue for a while and later learn that their friendship is more valuable than all else. 

Viewers got more than a laugh from this wholesome storyline with the highlight being Hartzog’s satirical yet sincere execution of his role. 

“I loved this role because it was the perfect fit for me,” said Hartzog. “Whenever I was on that stage, it made me feel so free, like I could be myself.”