Arts & Entertainment
Go Comedy! presents "Breaking Convention" through March 7, starring (L-R) Billy Crawford, Jennifer Bloomer, Erik Heilner, Michelle Giorlando, Chris Petersen and Scott Myers. Photo: Pete Jacokes
Dive Into The Convention World With New Original Comedy
By Dana Casadei
Originally printed 1/23/2014 (Issue 2204 - Between The Lines News)
Attending Comic Con has always been a dream of mine. Now, I would go more for the TV shows and movies than the comic book aspect of it all, but still, I really hope to go someday. For now, Go Comedy! Improv Theater's "Breaking Convention" will probably be as close as I get to the infamous Hall H. And you know what? That's perfectly all right.
The show, which was written by the cast and director Pete Jacokes, is just under 90 minutes. This is plenty of time for audiences to get sucked into the world of conventions.
The Richard Myron Convention Center has hit a bit of a snafu. Instead of booking conventions throughout the year, all of them have been scheduled for the same weekend. With no time to fix it, the crew must do their best to have things run smoothly. Following everything from check-in (for both the conventions and hotel), to food court moments (both adorable and horrifying), to the actual conventions themselves, there's a little bit of everything.
Oh, and you'll learn about "The Legend of Nancy" and her Pampered Chef ice cream scoops.
Picking a favorite actor would be like picking a favorite kid. Each of the six - Jenny Bloomer, Billy Crawford, Michelle Giorlando, Erik Heilner, Scotty Myers, and Chris Petersen - are all unique in their own way, shining at least once during the show. Even though they are all wonderful - they really are - I have to make a special shout-out to a few.
The ladies playing two grandmas (who are members of the Red Hat Society trying to have a wild girls weekend) are perfection. If Go Comedy! ever needs a new two-man show - or in this case, women - they should have Bloomer and Giorlando portray the grandmas again. I'm sure they would have no problem creating a multitude of stories for "The Adventures of Grandmas Gone Wild." The last scene they have together, which incorporates the entire cast, is easily the best moment of the show.
On the boys' side, you're going to remember Petersen for two very different characters. The first would be when he plays a cat; yes a cat. Trust me, it's weirdly amazing. The second would be when he's a man that starts out friendly, until he finds out the concession stand doesn't have cheese for nachos. He then turns to the audience, blank stare, and begins to tell the workers how they're going to die in a fiery blaze. Each scenario begins with, "Here's what's going to happen." This whole thing is done in an excellent deadpan. When the character returned, all Petersen had to do was turn and give that blank stare before the audience erupted in laughter. Then he delivered the line. Cue bigger laughs.
Like many Go Comedy! Shows, the costumes and props by Jacokes and Tommy LeRoy said as much about the characters as the words spoken by the actors. Giorlando's princess outfit and the rapping dads' face paint were two personal favorites.
A few of the characters and plot points fall a little flat, and some are just plain strange, but aren't all conventions a little bit funky? Plus, where else are you going to see a princess fighting with a priest about "Star Wars," while waiting in line to meet Doctor Who? I'm going to bet nowhere, except maybe Comic Con.
Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday through March 7. 85 minutes; no intermission. $15-20. 248-327-0575. http://www.gocomedy.net