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Violet Krumbein: Human Painkiller Reviewed in The Apiary

Mar 10, 2015

Human Painkiller @ UCBT
MR. WILLIAMS & ME Will Violet Krumbein's unorthodox methods of healing be successful? 

If the theme song to 'Sanford & Son' doesn't get you in a silly mood, watching a woman make out with herself will. In 'Human Painkiller,' UCB alum Violet Krumbein creates a world where hilariously insensitive characters interact with a cloying protagonist who just wants to make people happy. Krumbein begins by playing two people: A Holly-Hunter inspired-lesbian bar owner named Joyce, and Jezebel, the naive star of the show who seeks to provide joy to an invalid using her wits and good vibrations.

Wearing a black leotard, black tights and a gold miniskirt, Krumbein assumes more than half a dozen characters with minimal costume changes that involve hats or moustaches on a stick. Most characters come to life by their accents and mannerisms alone.

With direction by Megan Neuringer, sound design by Bill Buckendorf and tech by Jon Guttierez, Krumbein's show is a visual spectacle of a woman who makes a spectacle of herself. It wanders into dark territory (Jezebel does an erotic dance to cheer her father up after he accidentally kills her mother), and borders on the absurd (Jezebel's boyfriend is called 'Happy Fun Glove' --a rubber glove full of red liquid that bounces on a balloon string), but is consistently silly as Krumbein dances between scene changes. The author is not afraid to take risks or look awkward. Can you assume multiple sexual positions with a puppet in front of strangers?

The homemade props are almost art exhibits. Consider Happy Fun Glove or the wheelchair-bound Mr. Williams whose baby-doll head sits on clothes that are fitted over flat cardboard and whose limbs are stuffed pantyhose. The show also features some confusing running gags that become funnier as they are repeated. Whenever a particular disease is mentioned, a deep male voiceover says, 'It's a real disease.'

Krumbein tap dances and plays the kazoo. She throws pills while singing about modern medicine. She quacks: 'Flashback! Flashback!' to remind us we're going back in time. I happened to go to the show in a bad mood, and ended up laughing in spite of myself. Violet Krumbein IS the human painkiller.
"Get tickets for the next showing, Nov. 19 and 26 @ 8:00PM

Abbi Crutchfield is a standup comic and co-producer of The Living Room. She recently wrote about Elon James White and standup veterans Richard Belzer and Rick Overton.
NY Shows

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Derrick's MYSTERY TEAM Premiering at Sundance Film Festival 2009

Mar 10, 2015

DERRICK Comedy's first full length feature film, Mystery Team, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009 as part of the Park City At Midnight series. The film is written by and stars UCBT performers Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, and DC Pierson, was directed and edited by Dan Eckman, and is produced by Meggie McFadden.

The film features UCBT performers Aubrey Plaza, Matt Walsh, Bobby Moynihan, Kay Cannon, Ben Schwartz, John Lutz, Ellie Kemper, Jon Daly, Greg Burke, Neil Casey, Will Hines, Ben Rodgers, and Anthony King.

The trailer can be seen at
NY General

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UCBT performers Horatio Sanz, Jessica St. Clair cast in new ABC comedy series

Mar 10, 2015

Horatio Sanz Embraces Motherhood 

ABC has snatched up two more names for its upcoming child-rearing comedy In the Motherhood.

Saturday Night Live alum Horatio Sanz and Jessica St. Clair (Worst Week) will join the single-camera show, a redo of the popular online series of the same name chronicling the ups and downs of motherhood, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The series will star Megan Mullally and Cheryl Hines acting out real-life stories submitted by mothers. Sanz will play Hines' manny, while St. Clair will play her "intimidating younger sister," who doesn't discipline her children.

In the Motherhood is slated for a midseason premiere.
LA General

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