REVIEW: Colin and Brad Pack the House at Cerritos Again
By Glen Creason
Colin and Brad Pack the House at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, again
When I gazed out at the jammed Performing Arts Center with thousands of beaming fans wheezing from horse-laughing repeatedly it made me wonder how just two guys can pull this off time after time. Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are the guys, unassuming in appearance but amazingly well-suited to perform the kind of improvisational comedy their show entails. Their humor ranges from droll observations about popular culture to scatology to physical comedy that makes folks howl with delight. It is a testament to their guts that they never know what topic they will use to form these humorous scenes until seconds before they begin and there is no way to cheat. The whole thing is based on the once British radio, then British television, then American television show called “Whose Line Is It Anyway” that used made up skits improvised after receiving seeds of stories taken at random from audience members. Part of the appeal is precisely that it involves the audience so closely and dares folks to become part of this pageant of delightful silliness and clever rejoinders that Mochrie and Sherwood seem to command at will. When this technique is executed well, as these two gents do, the results can be downright hilarious. In their three visits to Cerritos, Mochrie and Sherwood have never failed to win the evening without ever seeming to drop the ball. This night was no exception judging by the lengthy standing ovation that greeted the conclusion of the concert.
Of course, part of the charm of the show is the dead ends some of these games lead the men into but somehow they find their way out in a way that just makes the audience double over in laughter. On this night they started with “moving bodies” just the get the crowd and themselves physically limbered up. Lucky Zach and Katherine became puppeteers to two Icelandic men who were both attorneys and pest controllers. As in all Mochrie-Sherwood plots you had to have been there to see how it made the couple to my left look like they might need a de-fibrillator. Richard and Laura honked bicycle horns in a sort of Jeopardy game and seven members of the audience lined up to shout ridiculous words and phrases that Colin and Brad used to weave a rather bizarre story. The word banana was overused but the crowd loved every bite. Probably the high-light of this show and most certainly the star of audience participation was a young lady named Hilary who supplied sound effects for Colin and an entire section of the Orchestra seats supplied sounds for Brad. Or was it vice-versa. At any rate Hilary was brilliant as were Brad and Colin and the section deserved an Oscar or Emmy or something.
There was more including a “secret fear” skit that combined dirty socks, forensic science, Barbie’s, snoring and other stuff not mentionable in a family newspaper that was a complete hoot. The show closed with the ever-popular one hundred pain dealing mouse traps set before two gladiators while barefooted and blind-folded telling a story using the alphabet backwards to begin their epic poem sort of like the Odyssey or Iliad if it were told while yelling ow! a lot. Then, just to place a cherry on this sundae Brad and Colin improvised an amazingly funny version of “My Way” chock full of lines describing the lunacy of the preceding hour and a half.
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