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Eliza Skinner is: Shameless in TIME OUT NY

Mar 16, 2015

Show review

Eliza Skinner Is: Shameless


Lingering onstage during most theatrical performances is the silent scream of actors begging, "Look at me! I'm pretty! Love me!" Eliza Skinner Is: Shameless succeeds where other one-person comedies wouldn't even go: Instead of simply concealing it, Skinner puts raw, repellent desperation front and center. Through a collection of stand-alone scenes, she portrays three attention-hungry women recklessly manipulating those around them.

The tragedy makes for vivid comedy. Both in her writing and in her nuanced performance, Skinner wrenches humor from awkward circumstances and cringe-inducing comments. Karen, an overbearing modern-day mom, hopes to impress her daughter's new African-American college roommate by letting her feel her boob job. After giving up on the venture, Karen suffers through several moments of silence before offering, "I loved Martin Luther King-so sad about that. You know what happened, right?" Then Debra, a young mother in search of her youth, seduces a 14-year-old neighborhood boy in her minivan. After slowly, erotically and hilariously consuming a Go-Gurt, she suddenly spins around to scream, "Shut up, Amber!," revealing the toddler who's been in the car seat all along.

Rather than simply mocking these poor souls, Skinner imbues them with pathos and roots out the sources of their sadness-at times, to touching effect. Still, as the actions of Amy, the boy-crazy party girl, suggest in the show's final moments, these women will never find resolution; no amount of love could ever be enough. It's the process of asking for it they feed on-ah, actors. In other words, do look at Eliza. She is pretty. And you will love her.
NY Shows

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Congratulations UCBT performers writing for 2007-2008 TV season

Mar 16, 2015

Congratulations to UCBT performers writing for current & upcoming TV season!

Chad Carter, June Raphael & Casey Wilson: Creature Comforts (CBS)
UCBT alums/performers Chad Carter (MySpace, ASSSSCAT) and June Raphael & Casey Wilson (Sentimental Lady, Rode Hard and Put Away Wet) serve as Story Editors for Creature Comforts, a new animated series for CBS by the Academy Award-winning creators of Wallace and Gromit.  Show culls excerpts from real person interviews and places in the mouths of a wide variety of animated animals to produce commentaries on everyday life.  CBS Mondays 8pm EST/PST.

Tami Sagher: 30 Rock (NBC)
UCBT teacher/performer Tami Sagher (Mother F****r!, Avalanche) joining the writing staff of NBC's 30 Rock, the workplace comedy set behind-the-scenes of a live variety show.  Series starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin returns for its second season this fall. NBC Thursdays 8:30pm EST/PST.

Harris Wittels: The Sarah Silverman Program (Comedy Central)
Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program added UCBT alum/performer Harris Wittels (Hendershaw, Comedy Death-Ray) to its writing staff.  Program following the absurd life of character Sarah Silverman returns for its second season this fall.  Comedy Central Thursdays 10pm EST/PST.

Scott Aukerman, Neil Campbell & Paul Rust: Moral Orel (Adult Swim)
UCBT performer Scott Aukerman (Comedy Death-Ray, Match Game) and alums/performers Neil Campbell & Paul Rust (Last Day of School, Not Too Shabby) wrote the episode "Courtship" of Adult Swim's Moral Orel.  In the episode, a valuable lesson is taught about man/woman relations when an 11 year-old character becomes involved with the teacher.
LA General

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MY BIG FAT in Time Out NY

Mar 16, 2015

My Big Fat

While chatter over the politics of obesity differs from one pundit to the next-overweight people are either funny or sad; they should either be chastised or exonerated of blame for their condition-Jim Santangeli says all of these things at once. And you believe him. Because he's fat-super fat. "I am three Adrien Brodys," he says at the top of My Big Fat, "yet only one-third of a 1976 Alfa Romeo." The 30-minute vignette is a frank and very funny analysis of what it takes to be huge.

First of all it requires a lot of work. Backed by a three-person Greek chorus of sorts, Santangeli explores the checklist of techniques necessary for the corpulent life, including brainwashing friends into thinking you're athletic and blaming your parents. Audience members vacillate between empathizing with Santangeli (we've all feasted on junk food in the wee hours of the morning in front of the television: "What's on? Doesn't matter. You're not going to watch anyway," he says) and being disgusted by his hypocrisy (he rebuffs the heavyset Sepulveda during an onstage date).

Regardless, the comedian succeeds in making his plump story compelling without taking himself, the show-or his weight, for that matter-too seriously. In fact, if there's any message at all, it's that a husky person's baggage is weighed down as much by self-delusion as it is by Doritos.



Saturday, June 23 & 30


NY Shows

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